DUI lawyers in San Diego we are often asked, "Will I go to jail with a second DUI?" And
the other question is "How long will I not be able to drive?"
These are good questions and when a person is facing a second DUI within
the 10-year period there are greater consequences than with a first time
DUI. Usually on a second DUI a person in San Diego County will not go
to jail. They have to be sentenced to jail but the Courts will usually
sentence them to 96 hours and allow them to serve that in home confinement
with a SCRAM device (secure continuous remote alcohol monitor) attached
to their ankle. Recent legislation has caused such an overcrowding of
the jails that the Courts, with the concurrence of the prosecutors, are
enthusiastically finding alternatives to actual jail time.
This time technology has come to the aid of the accused. The SCRAM device
is both an alcohol monitor and a location monitor. There is one major
company that provides this device and it is easy for the defendant to
get hooked up and monitored. There are fees, of course, but the cost is
nowhere as severe as is having to spend time in a county jail locked up
with others who may be far less desirable humans to associate with than
the defendant's regular friends.
This second DUI must be taken seriously however, as the Court can impose
up to a year in county jail and a $2500 fine. Not all the Courts in San
Diego County, however, impose the same punishments. Some Courts will allow
the SCRAM in lieu of actual jail and others may not. As always is the
case, a competent lawyer will know the system and maneuver the client
to the best possible result under the circumstances.
The typical result for a second DUI, with a blood alcohol level under a
.15 will result in 96 hours of custody, allowing the time to be home arrest
with a SCRAM device, an 18 month approved drug and alcohol program, and
a fine of approximately $2500. The drug and alcohol programs are administered
all over the county commercially and involve a couple hour per week class
on the evils of drinking and driving.
A person who pleads to a second DUI can count on their license being suspended
unless they prevail at the DMV hearing and not plead to a DUI. Their license
will be suspended by the DMV for a year and once the DMV gets the record
of the plea from the Court their license will be suspended for an additional
2 years. The client can apply for a restricted license after 90 days of
actual suspension which should be granted upon showing of proof of SR22
insurance. This restricted license will allow you to drive to and from
work or school. If you have an IID(ignition interlock device) installed
you may be able to get a restricted license which allows you to drive
anywhere, as long as you're driving in a car with an IID installed.
There are nuances for particular situations but generally this article
has addressed the general question of jail time and license suspension
for a second DUI. The consequences could be much different if a chemical
test is refused, if the blood alcohol is at a higher level, or if there
was an accident. As always, your individual case is unique and the general
information above may not apply in your particular case.