What happens when you get a DUI with a high BAC? 24 Answers as of February 24, 2012

My son is an 18-year-old who went and got himself a DUI or DWI or whatever it is called with a BAC of 0.17. Obviously, we need to get him a lawyer, but I wanted to know what kind of sentence he is looking at here. No one was hurt or anything, the cop pulled him over for driving erratically and kept him at the station overnight. That was a fun phone call to get at 1 in the morning. Anyway, what kind of sentence should he expect?

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The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg
The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg | Michael Berg
For a minor, in California he will lose his privilege to drive for one year. There will also be a fine (roughly $2,000.00), a one hour Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) lecture, a 3 month alcohol program and 3 to 5 days of public work (picking up trash along the freeway) due to his blood alcohol level being above .15 percent. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2011
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf | Lawrence Wolf
It is important to first deal with his drinking issue and then plan from there. Give us a call.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
In San Diego, even a high BAC only gets the fine of $1K and the three-month class (that you have to take to get your license back anyway.) Sometimes the higher BAC gets you a few days community service but even that is negotiable if you have a good lawyer. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
Because he is under 21 and he has a high B.A.C he is looking at the potential of enhanced penalties, possibly even jail. Given this situation I would highly recommend hiring him private counsel.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2012
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
Based on what is stated in your question, if you son is convicted for a DUI while being under the age of 21 he is most likely looking at probation, fines and fees, attending an alcohol school for a period of 6 to 9 months for the high BAC (over .15%); attending a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) class, attending a Hospital and Morgue program and having his driver's license suspended for a period of 1 year due to the fact that he is under the age of 21. I hope this answer was helpful. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to discuss your son's case is more detail.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
    Srai Law Office
    Srai Law Office | Gurjit Singh Srai, Esq.
    A first time DUI carries both fines and mandatory jail sentence. Generally, on a first time DUI there is a 2 day jail sentence. However, your son will be able to do the Work Project, and not need to actually serve jail time. Your son is under 21 and therefore his license will be suspended for a year. The DA might want to add days to the jail sentence because of high blood alcohol but that varies on each county. Lastly, if your son was in jail overnight he will get credit for that day against his jail sentence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    If you have a high BAC, you are looking at possible enhancements. This means that the DA will ask for more jail time or for a longer program to complete. If you have a good attorney, these enhancements can be fought but California treats DUI's very serious.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc.
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc. | Mary Ann Bird
    You can expect at least 7 days of county jail time, three years of probation, court fines and fees. On the DMV side, he will lose his liscense for one year and will have to complete the 9 month DUI class. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    The most serious aspect of his case is he will likely lose his license for a year. Any time a person under 21 is legally stopped with a level above .01, they will suffer that suspension. Otherwise, assuming he is convicted, he will be treated a first offender with an alcohol program to complete, between 5 and 10 days in a work program and a fine of about $2000.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    A "standard" first time DUI will include hefty fines (around $2,000 total), a first offender DUI program (for him, six months in length because of his blood alcohol level) and other various obligations (a MADD panel meeting, etc).

    Unfortunately for him, he's under 21, so he faces a one year suspension of his license as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/4/2010
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Fine plus alcohol school and depending on where it happened some time in a work program or electronic monitoring.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Potential consequences for a DUI can be quite serious and include jail time. There are possible enhancements he may be looking at for having a high BAC level...and perhaps others if he was speeding excessively, etc. You can reach me at (818) 336-1384 to discuss your son's case in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Penalties are enhanced, and the DA and Court are less sympathetic in plea bargaining, to seriously impaired [high BA] drivers. A .17 is generally falling down, stumbling drunk. That is why they kept him overnight. If he has no priors and a clean rap sheet, his attorney should be able to [probably] keep him out of jail, or at least not for more than a short stay, but he faces stiff fines, loss of license, alcohol school, probation, insurance increases, etc. If serious about hiring counsel to do so, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have.

    Keep in mind: When you are arrested for DUI, upon release from jail or booking, you were given documents that included a notice from DMV that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of the automatic one-year suspension of your license. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled hearing and present your evidence and testimony. If you do not know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    Probation; a fine of $1800; 5 days in the weekend work program; a drinking driver counseling program and a 1 year license suspension. We may be able to get him permission to drive to job or school.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    Well, he might still be able to beat the case. It still must be proven and it may not be as obvious as it seems! If he were to be convicted of misdemeanor DUI with a BAC over .20%, for a first-time offender, he would likely face 3 years of informal summary probation, approximately $1,800 in fines, and a 9 month alcohol program, but no jail. That is mandatory, and there may be other miscellaneous requirements depending on the prosecutor. The DMV would also take action, both on their own, and if they receive notice of a conviction from the court. He would like end up with a 1 month drivers license suspension and a 5 month restricted license to and from work and course and scope of his employment. To get a restricted license, you must show the DMV a proof of enrollment in the alcohol class, an SR-22 form (proof of insurance) and pay $125. It is best to contact an attorney such as myself who specializes in DUI cases immediately, as you only have 10 days to contact the DMV from the date of his arrest in order to get a hearing with them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Law Office of Joseph Galasso
    Law Office of Joseph Galasso | Joseph Galasso
    It depends on what county he is in and their policy on DUIs. With a BAC of .17 he will likely be charged with a sentencing enhancement that gives more time if the BAC is over .15.

    If this is his first DUI, and since no one was injured, it is very unlikely he will do actual custody time. It is likely he will have to do some sort of community service program. Because he is under 21 the DMV will suspend his license for a significant amount of time.

    If you have any questions please contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Wise Law Group
    Wise Law Group | Michael J. Wise, Esq
    Your son will likely lose his privilege to drive for a year, face some stiff fines and be on informal probation for approximately three years. You can potentially mitigate the sentence by having him attend AA classes and establish that he is addressing his drinking problem.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    It will be difficult to say without knowing where the DUI occurred at. Since this is a first time DUI an attorney can usually keep him out of jail. With that BAC expect him to do a 6 to 9 month DUI class. He will also have issues with the DMV. He only has 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing. Make sure this gets done. When you are looking for an attorney. Talk to them, see how they answer questions and make sure the attorney you hire is the attorney that will be making all the appearances and possibly the trial if it is necessary. Almost all attorneys will provide a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
    Steven Mandell
    Steven Mandell | Law Offices of Steven Mandell
    It is too early to predict an outcome or sentence. There will be many factors that come into the picture that will have an impact on the outcome. But certain aspects of a DUI for a person under 21 can be predictable, and ranges of penalties can be discussed once I have more information about the facts of his case. I would be happy to meet with him and you to discuss all of this in a free consultation. If you would like to talk to me about it, please don't hesitate to call. And, he has only 10 days from the date of the arrest to take some steps with the DMV. Failure to do so will cause him to lose substantial rights. Time is of the essence here. Call me as soon as you can.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    If he doesn't seek help and just goes to court, he should expect 3 years of probation, close to $2000 in fines and fees, attendance in a 6 or 9 month alcohol program, loss of his drivers license for at least 6 months, and up to 6 months in county jail. The best way to avoid some or all of these consequences is to hire a competent DUI specialist to represent your son, someone who will provide detailed and personal representation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott | Stacey Wolcott
    It appears based on the limited information that you provided he would be subject to sentencing as a typical first time DUI. The one thing that may be different provided that his Blood Alcohol Level was in fact 0.17%, is he would have to do a 9 month class in order to satisfy the probation terms. Furthermore, since he is under 21 years old, the DMV will take his driving privilege and suspend it for 1 year. I would be happy to go into all of the possible terms of probation at a free consultation, each county tends to differ slightly in the terms of probation they ask for. You should be aware though that an attorney should look at his police report to just ensure that this is a valid DUI and that the police followed all the proper procedures. Feel free to give my office a call and schedule a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    I would recommend speaking with an attorney immediately. I am available if you are in California. You have a number of issues. You are dealing with an underage DUI which carries different penalties than a standard DUI. Your case may be very fact specific and you need to speak to counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
    Law Office of William M. Concidine
    Law Office of William M. Concidine | William Concidine
    Well your answer depends on what county he received the DUI. A first time DUI with that level usually carries with it a fine (in San Diego it is $2030), the possibility of public work service or community service, alcohol conditions or not driving with any measurable amount of alcohol, a first conviction DUI program of 3 months, other possible fines, and because he is under 21 a one year license suspension from the DMV. There may be other conditions depending on what county the DUI happened. He should consult an attorney in his county who would be able to tell him or you exactly what he is facing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
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