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DUI Penalties

Santa Barbara DUI Defense Lawyer

With increasing public outrage over drunk driving accidents and fatalities, many states have cracked down on impaired driving. California is no exception; DUI penalties can be severe, even for first time offenders. That is why it is in your best interests to fight hard against DUI charges.

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you will face two separate proceedings:

  • An administrative hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regarding your driver's license suspension; and

  • Criminal proceedings relating to the DUI charges.

Serious and separate consequences may result from each of the proceedings. It is important that a defense be mounted to challenge the DMV and court proceedings. In order to challenge a DMV suspension, the driver, or preferably an attorney, must request a hearing within 10 days of the arrest. We offer free DMV hearings for all DUI clients.

To find out more about how a Santa Barbara DUI lawyer can help you, contact us for a free case review.

Driving Privilege Penalties for DUI

If you are arrested for DUI in Santa Barbara, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver's license and issue an order of suspension and a 30-day temporary driver's license. After 30 days, your driving privileges will be suspended for:

  • 4 months for a first offense if you are 21 or older with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more; or

  • 1 year for a second or subsequent DUI offense within 10 years.

Different restrictions apply to underage drivers. It is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to consume any alcohol. Zero tolerance laws were enacted in California in 1994 to address underage drinking and driving. If you are under 21 and charged with driving with a BAC of .01% or higher, your driving privileges will be suspended for 1 year following a first offense.

Breath Test Refusal Penalties

Under California's implied consent laws, drivers are required to submit to chemical testing of their breath, blood, or urine (if neither a blood or breath test is available) to determine their blood alcohol content if lawfully arrested for a DUI. Refusal to do so carries a potential DMV license suspension or revocation, whether or not you are convicted of DUI, as follows:

  • 1-year suspension for a first offense

  • 2-year revocation for a second offense within 10 years

  • 3-year revocation for a third or subsequent offense within 10 years

You will have to pay the DMV a fee to reinstate your license after it has been suspended. The court also may require you to have installed on your vehicle, at your own expense, an ignition interlock device to prevent your vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. The DMV also may require that you have an SR-22 (high risk liability insurance coverage) certificate, which can be very expensive.

Criminal DUI Penalties in California

If you are convicted of DUI, criminal penalties can include fines and jail time. California law includes a 10-year “look back” period, which means that penalties are increasingly harsher for subsequent offenses committed within a 10-year period.

Generally, for adult drivers with BAC of .08% or higher, for accidents resulting in no bodily injury or death, maximum penalties may run as follows (it is important to note that fines and other requirements will vary depending on the county). A Santa Barbara DUI lawyer can provide information specific to your case.


Jail Time


Other Requirements

1st Offense


4 days to

6 months


3-9 month alcohol school & license suspension

2nd Offense (within 10 years)


10 days to 1 year


Multiple offender alcohol school and license suspension

3rd Offense


4 months

to 1 year


Multiple offender alcohol school and license suspension

4th Offense (Felony or Misdemeanor)

Felony or Misdemeanor

180 days minimum to 3 years


Multiple offender alcohol school and license revocation

*Any DUI with injury can be charged as a Felony

Attendance and completion of a DUI program will also be required. Penalties may be more severe with a BAC of .15% or higher.

Fight Your Charges with A Santa Barbara DUI Attorney

If you have been arrested for DUI, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. At Andrade Law Offices, we believe in fighting hard against DUI charges right from the start.

Attorney Steven R. Andrade is a former prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General. Steven has been practicing law for a combined total of more than 40 years and know both sides of the criminal justice system. He has successfully defended thousands of clients facing DUI charges. He has the knowledge, experience, and dedication to aggressively pursue a favorable resolution of your case.

For experienced DUI defense counsel in Santa Barbara, contact us today.