DUI – Enhanced Penalties


In California, as in most states, there are several categories of DUI conviction. Among these are the “Standard” DUI penalties, the “Enhanced” DUI penalties and penalties involving DUI by minors. This post deals specifically with “Enhanced” DUI penalties. For information on the “Standard” DUI penalties check out this article titled California’s DUI Laws and Penalties.

Enhanced DUI Penalties in California

California has instituted a statute containing several Enhanced DUI penalties when certain aggravating factors exist at the time of the DUI arrest. Factors which generally merit an Enhanced DUI penalty include (1) prior DUI convictions, (2) a high Blood Alcohol Content, (3) refusal to submit to chemical testing, (4) speeding or reckless driving, (5) child endangerment, and (6) accident or injury are involved.

Prior DUI Convictions

If you have been convicted of DUI within the previous ten (10) years, the minimum jail sentence, DUI school, and license suspension are increased. If you have been convicted twice within the previous ten (10) years the penalties are increased further. Three (3) prior convictions will result in felony charges (punishable by state prison).

High Blood Alcohol Content

California imposes an enhanced sentence when your BAC is .15 or higher.

Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing

Should you refuse to submit to chemical testing, your jail term will be increased in addition to the administrative suspension for your refusal.

Speeding or Reckless Driving

In California you will receive an enhanced penalty when you are caught DUI and driving twenty (20) mph over the speed limit on a surface street or thirty (30) mph over the limit on a freeway.

Child Endangerment

In California, you will receive an enhanced DUI penalty if you are caught driving under the influence with an individual under the age of fourteen (14) in the car.

Accident or Injury

If you injure someone while DUI, your DUI may be considered a felony.

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One Response to DUI – Enhanced Penalties

  1. amy klawitter says:

    Hello sir,
    I polive in the state of Florida, and I was convicted with a first offense enhanced DUI. My BR was .250. I do believe I am guilty, but the BR number really throws me off. However, my main question is will I go to jail? I am a teacher, and jail time will ultimately ruin my teaching position. I am not a social drinker. I was on summer break, and my mother and father were both hospitalized. My mother has Lupus with dementia… and my father had a mass in his colon. I also lost my current position this year due to budget cuts. I am pretty much a homebody, and a few of my teacher friends wanted to cheer me up. I drank (honestly) 7 glasses of wine from 7pm to around 2:00 am. One after another kept coming due to my friends purchasing more drinks. I am mortified, and I understand that my consequences will be severe (which they should be). I would love to keep my new job…so will I go to jail? so confused….and so very sorry! NEVER AGAIN! I should have stood up for myself.

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