8 Things You Didn’t Know About A 3rd DUI

DUI Defense Legal Guide

If convicted of a 3rd DUI within a 10 year period1 your driving privileges may be revoked rather than simply suspended and you may be designated as a habitual traffic offender for a period of three years.

Your License & The DMV Hearing

After a third arrest for a DUI or wet reckless driving, you may think you know exactly what is going to happen throughout the DUI proceedings and what penalties you will face2.  As you may recall, after an arrest for a DUI, the arresting officer is required to immediately forward a copy of the notice of suspension or revocation form and any drivers license confiscated to the DMV.  If the suspension or revocation is upheld during the DMV’s administrative review, you have the right to request a hearing to contest the suspension or revocation.

You must request the hearing from the DMV:

→    Within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order, which you will likely receive upon your arrest.

If the review at the DMV shows that there is no basis for the suspension or revocation, the action will be set aside and your driving privileges will be reinstated.  The DMV will notify you in writing only if the suspension of revocation is set aside following the administrative review.  However, this process has no affect on the outcome or penalties from your criminal court case.

Penalty for a 3rd DUI in California

Following a third offense within 10 years, penalties imposed by the court include:

PenaltyMisdemeanor
Fine$390-$1,000 + penalty assessments3
Habitual Traffic Offender Status3 Years4
Probation3-5 years informal probation5
DUI Education Program30 month court approved program
License Suspension or Revocation3 years (convertible to restricted license after 18 months)
County Jail120 days – 1 year6
Possible Additional Penalties

In addition to the driving under the influence program that you will have to complete, the judge may also impose collateral sentences that may require you to attend AA programs, hospital and morgue programs, or other programs that impart the seriousness of a DUI including the following.

  • Possible MADD Program
  • Possible Morgue Program
  • Possible Community Labor
  • Possible Rehab
  • Ignition interlock Device7
Ignition Interlock device

In most counties it is still discretionary for the judge to require you to install an Ignition Interlock Device after the first California DUI charge.  However, after a second DUI and for a third DUI or wet reckless offense within 10 years, it is mandatory that the judge requires you to have an Ignition Interlock Device on any car that you may drive after the period of revocation of your license has ended8.

Enhancements To A DUI Penalty

A penalty enhancement is an increase of the existing DUI penalties which run in additionan to any penalties incured for the DUI such as a DUI with a child in the car.9

Refusing A Chemical Test

In California, if you are suspected of driving under the influence, you are deemed to consent to a chemical breath test10.  If you refuse when arrested, the punishments will be much harsher.  Additionally, if you refuse a Breathalyzer test you will not qualify for the limited privilege of a restricted license.

Additional aggravating factors

An aggravating factor is an additional charge or factor which may incline the prosecutor to offer the upper end of the law in a plea bargain disposition. For example a vehicle accident without injury could increase probation time or jail time in any offer from a prosecutor.

California Third DUI Frequently Asked Questions

What if the officer had no probable cause to pull me over

Considering the steep consequences of a 3rd DUI conviction, your DUI attorney will look closely at the specific police procedures used to arrest you and the evidence against you. Under the law, the officer needed an independent basis to pull you over in the first place, such as your violation of a separate traffic offense. If he or she lacked that probable cause, then your rights may have been violated. Additionally, your attorney can challenge the reliability of breathalyzer results and other evidence in an attempt to avoid a conviction altogether.

Is it likely that the judge will allow a community service or work sentence to replace the mandatory jail time

The likelihood varies by county, however it is still possible, though less likely that a judge will convert a jail sentence to a probation one.  A conversion is even less likely if you were convicted of a second DUI in California while still on probation from your first DUI.

What happens if I was still on probation from my second DUI at the time of my arrest for my third DUI

It is likely that your probation will be revoked and the penalties associated with your third DUI will be much harsher than if you were no longer on probation.

Is there any chance of keeping my license after a third DUI offense

No. Unless you are not convicted of the offense or the charges are dropped for lack of evidence or procedural errors, then you can expect to lose your license for an extended period of time. Under California law, there is automatic license suspension for even the first time DUI. The length of the suspension increases with each subsequent offense and many be extended if

What is the difference between a license revocation and a license suspension

When your license is suspended, you will get it back after the designated period of time.  When your license is revoked after your third DUI offense, you will not get it back until you show proof of your completion of the driving under the influence program.

Important Information

Next Steps

If you have been arrested for a 3rd DUI and would like to learn more about how attorneys charge.

If you want to understand why its important to have an attorney represent you.

If you are ready to discuss a pending DUI case with an attorney contact the Aizman Law Firm at 818-351-9555 for a free confidential consultation.

Get Legal Help Now

Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555 

Footnotes

  1. California Penal Code 23622 – (a) In any case charging a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 and the offense occurred within 10 years of one or more separate violations of Section 23103, as specified in Section 23103.5, that occurred on or after January 1, 1982, 23152, or 23153, or any combination thereof, that resulted in convictions, the court shall not strike any separate conviction of those offenses for purposes of sentencing in order to avoid imposing, as part of the sentence or term of probation, the minimum time of imprisonment and the minimum fine, as provided in this chapter, or for purposes of avoiding revocation, suspension, or restriction of the privilege to operate a motor vehicle, as provided in this code. (b) In any case charging a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, the court shall obtain a copy of the driving record of the person charged from the Department of Motor Vehicles and may obtain any records from the Department of Justice or any other source to determine if one or more separate violations of Section 23103, as specified in Section 23103.5, that occurred on or after January 1, 1982, 23152, or 23153, or any combination thereof, that resulted in convictions, have occurred within 10 years of the charged offense. The court may obtain, and accept as rebuttable evidence, a printout from the Department of Motor Vehicles of the driving record of the person charged, maintained by electronic and storage media pursuant to Section 1801 for the purpose of proving those separate violations. (c) If any separate convictions of violations of Section 23152 or 23153 are reported to have occurred within 10 years of the charged offense, the court shall notify each court where any of the separate convictions occurred for the purpose of enforcing terms and conditions of probation pursuant to Section 23602. []
  2. California Vehicle Code 23103.5, a “wet reckless” conviction will count as a prior DUI on your record within the statutory 10 year period. []
  3. California Vehicle Code 23546 -(a) If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 and the offense occurred within 10 years of two separate violations of Section 23103, as specified in Section 23103.5, 23152, or 23153, or any combination thereof, that resulted in convictions, that person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 120 days nor more than one year and by a fine of not less than three hundred ninety dollars ($390) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). The person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles as required in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 13352. The court shall require the person to surrender his or her driver’s license to the court in accordance with Section 13550. []
  4. California Vehicle Code 23546 – (b) A person convicted of a violation of Section 23152 punishable under this section shall be designated as a habitual traffic offender for a period of three years, subsequent to the conviction. The person shall be advised of this designation pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 13350. []
  5. California Vehicle Code 23600. If any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 and is granted probation, the terms and conditions of probation shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) Notwithstanding Section 1203a of the Penal Code, a period of probation not less than three nor more than five years; provided, however, that if the maximum sentence provided for the offense may exceed five years in the state prison, the period during which the sentence may be suspended and terms of probation enforced may be for a longer period than three years but may not exceed the maximum time for which sentence of imprisonment may be pronounced. []
  6. California Vehicle Code 23546 []
  7. California Vehicle Code 23575.- (a) (1) In addition to any other law, the court may require that a person convicted of a first offense violation of Section 23152 or 23153 install a functioning, certified ignition interlock device on any vehicle that the person operates and prohibit that person from operating a motor vehicle unless that vehicle is equipped with a functioning, certified ignition interlock device. The court shall give heightened consideration to applying this sanction to a first offense violator with 0.15 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at arrest, or with two or more prior moving traffic violations, or to persons who refused the chemical tests at arrest. If the court orders the ignition interlock device restriction, the term shall be determined by the court for a period not to exceed three years from the date of conviction. The court shall notify the Department of Motor Vehicles, as specified in subdivision (a) of Section 1803, of the terms of the restrictions in accordance with subdivision (a) of Section 1804. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall place the restriction in the person’s records in the Department of Motor Vehicles. []
  8. California Vehicle Code section 23575(f)(1); If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 and the offense occurred within 10 years of one or more separate violations of Section 23152 or 23153 that resulted in a conviction, or if a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23103, as specified in Section 23103.5, and is suspended for one year under Section 13353.3, the person may apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a restricted driver’s license pursuant to Section 13352 or 13353.3 that prohibits the person from operating a motor vehicle unless that vehicle is equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device, certified pursuant to Section 13386. The restriction shall remain in effect for at least the remaining period of the original suspension or revocation and until all reinstatement requirements in Section 13352 or 13353.4 are met []
  9. California Vehicle Code 23572. []
  10. California Vehicle Code 23578. []