Ignition Interlock Laws

California ignition interlock laws vary depending on the location of the offense, the severity of the offense, and the conviction history of the driver.

  • In Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, and Tulare Counties, all drivers who are convicted of DUI are required to install ignition interlock devices on vehicles they own or operate.
  • In other counties, interlock devices may be required at the discretion of the court.

License Suspension

Administrative Suspension

If a driver fails or refuses to take a field breathalyzer test upon being stopped for suspicion of DUI, the driver’s license will be automatically suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles for a period of six months to six years, depending on the driver’s age, BAC, and conviction history.

For a driver under 21, the suspension will last until the driver’s twenty-first birthday under DUI laws.

Judicial Suspension

In most cases, convicted drivers will be subject to a period of license suspension after which they may apply for a restricted license which allows them to drive under the control of an ignition interlock device. The length of both the suspension and restriction periods depends on the conviction history of the driver.

First-time offenders face a six-month suspension and a five-month restriction period.
Four-time offenders are subject to a four-year suspension and may apply for a restricted license after 18 months.

Some DUI offenses, especially those involving an accident or injury to another person, may be charged as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. In these cases, suspension and restriction penalties are more severe.

Repeat offenses also trigger harsher penalties, and drivers convicted of a felony DUI involving injury or death will have prior misdemeanor convictions considered by the court in the imposition of sentence length and severity.

DUI Penalties and Fees in California

1st Offense Fine: Up to $1,000
Jail Time: 48 hours to 6 months
Period of License Suspension: 30 days to 10 months
2nd Offense Fine: Up to $1,800
Jail Time: 10 days to 1 year
Period of License Suspension: 2 years
3rd Offense Fine: Up to $18,000
Jail Time: 120 days to 1 year
Period of License Suspension: 3 years
4th Offenses Fine: Up to $18,000
Jail Time: 180 days to 16 months
Period of License Suspension: 4 years

Get Your Suspended Drivers License Reinstated

Our goal is to get you back to the road safely and legally, here’s how to get your license back

Schedule Install California License Reinstatement

Cal. Veh. Code §§ 13352, 23152, 23536, 23540, 23546, 23550, 23575 Driving Laws, Published by Nolo. California DUI: What are the penalties? Retrieved April 10, 2017 from http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/dui-laws-state/penalties-dui-california.htm

Last Updated: June 8, 2018

Draeger, Inc. makes every attempt to maintain up-to-date legal information on our website. Other factors may also affect the way your state laws will apply to individual cases. It is advised to always consult with your monitoring authority, attorney, or local court for case-specific information.