Third Misdemeanor DUI

A third misdemeanor DUI within ten years can carry severe penalties including prolonged jail time and California driver’s license revocation.

Possible Penalties for a Third Misdemeanor DUI in California

A third misdemeanor DUI is punishable by:

  • Three (3) to five (5) years of informal probation
  • Up to one year in jail (minimum 120 days)
  • A thirty (30) month California DUI and alcohol program
  • Between $390 to $1000 in fines plus penalty assessments
  • Ignition interlock device
  • A California driver’s license revocation of three years
  • Designation as a habitual traffic offender.

Penalty assessments can significantly increase a DUI fine. The California driver’s license revocation following a third misdemeanor DUI conviction can generally be converted into a restricted license after 18 months.

In Sacramento, for example, the standard third misdemeanor DUI offer from the Sacramento District Attorney’s office is:

  • Four or five years of informal court probation
  • 120 to 180 days in county jail
  • 30 month California alcohol program
  • Driver’s license revocation
  • Ignition interlock device
  • A fine of about $3000
  • Designation as a habitual traffic offender.

The ordered jail time may typically be completed in a Sheriff’s out of custody work or ankle bracelet program with the exception of 6 days which must be served in jail. Being designated as a habitual traffic offender has the effect of drastically increasing penalties for future driving-related convictions.

How a Third Misdemeanor DUI Affects Your License

If you have been arrested for a third misdemeanor DUI, your California license may be suspended or revoked by either (1) being convicted of a third DUI in court, or (2) loosing a DMV hearing.

Court Ordered Suspension for Third Time DUI Offenders

After you are convicted in court of a third misdemeanor DUI, a three year license revocation is imposed by the DMV per California Vehicle Code section 13352(a)(4).

Administrative Suspension for Third Time DUI Offenders

If you have been arrested for a third DUI and your BAC measured %.08 or more, the DMV will seek to impose a one year suspension. This administrative driver’s license suspension is separate and independent from the court triggered suspension. You are entitled to an administrative hearing which must be requested within ten (10) days of your arrest. You are entitled to be represented by a DUI attorney at the DMV hearing.

You may be able to apply and receive a restricted driver’s license generally after 18 months, however you must provide: proof of enrollment and completion of at least 12 months in a the California DUI program, proof of SR-22 insurance, and proof of having an ignition interlock device installed in your car. DMV may also require you to pay a driver’s license reissue fee.