Read our story What To Do If Arrested For DUI Here.

California has been a leader in fighting drunk driving and has passed some of the most significant DUI laws of any state. Even if this is your first offense you may face up to $2,000in fines and fees, plus up to two days in jail, suspension of your license, and be required to attend an alcohol education program. .

The following chart lays out the basics of California DUI law, including blood alcohol contentration (BAC) limits, penalties, and information about license suspension.

California DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

“Per Se” BAC Limit

0.08 Percent

Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit

0.02 Percent

Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit

0.16 Percent

Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test?


Penalties For DUI

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (first, second, or third offense) 6 months, 2 years, up to 10 years
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Both (education required if under 21)
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? Yes
Ignition Interlock Device Possible? Yes (mandatory for third offense)