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The Fallout From a DUI in California

iStock_000006239459XSmallDriving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead to criminal charges, long-term financial difficulty, and charged with a crime that carries serious consequences.

If the DUI is your first offense, you will be charged a fine ranging between $1,500 and $2,000. In many cases, you will also spend two days in jail, or have that time commuted to community service instead. You will probably be ordered to take an alcohol awareness class, which will take several months to complete. Failure to complete the course can result in further punishment from the court.

Once your case has been processed, you can be sentenced to three to five years of probation. Some of the conditions of probation include the requirement to notify authorities any time you plan to travel out of state or move to a new address. At any time, your probation officer may make an unannounced visit to your home or workplace. Probation may not sound like a harsh punishment, but failure to precisely abide by the rules can land you in jail.

As for your driving privileges, you will have to appear before the Department of Motor Vehicles. You can request reinstatement of your driving privileges, but driving won’t be easy now. Your auto insurance rates may triple, or your coverage could be dropped altogether. This is likely to be the case if the DUI is not your first offense. And of course, if you drive without insurance, you could face further traffic fines.

Clearly, it is worth the cost of a taxi to avoid the potential fallout from a DUI! If you know you’re going to be drinking, make sure to have a designated driver, or carry cash so that you can call a cab.