How to handle a 2nd DUI offense in California:
A 2nd DUI offense in California involves mandatory jail time and a lengthy license suspension. California Vehicle Code (CVC) 23152 prohibits driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. For 2nd DUI offense cases, CVC 23540 states the minimum jail time is set at 90 days of county jail, with a maximum of 1 year. Under DMV rules, a 2nd DUI offense carries a 1 year driver’s license suspension, along with requirements for additional insurance (called an SR-22).
Defenses used in 2nd DUI offense cases:
A 2nd DUI offense case is just like any other DUI case, involving a number of common defense strategies. DUI cases involve unique legal and scientific issues that an experienced DUI attorney will be familiar with and that can give rise to useful defenses.
Rising Blood Alcohol Level Defense:
For the DMV to suspend a driver for a 2nd DUI offense, the DMV has to establish that:
1. The driver was driving along public roadways in California
2. The detention and subsequent arrest of the driver was based on sufficient probable cause
3. The driver’s blood alcohol level at the time of driving was at or above 0.08%.
Depending on the nature of the case, a driver may be able to successfully challenge one or all of these issues and win at the DMV. For example, the first issue “driving along public roadways” can be attacked where there were multiple people in the car before police arrived. If law enforcement did not witness the driver driving, and arrived when all of the occupants of the car were standing outside of the car, a very real and useful defense can be raised. The DMV license suspension process for DUI cases (called the “APS” process) only applies to people driving under the influence and not to passengers.
Jail time for 2nd DUI offense cases in California:
CVC 23540 involves mandatory jail time for a person convicted of a 2nd DUI offense. 90 days is the statutory minimum, with additional jail time often sought by prosecutors. Successful defenses at DMV also work with the court system to prevent or avoid the most severe penalties.