Tough New Penalty for Third DUI
A new Bill has been signed into law which significantly extends the license suspension period for a third DUI in California. Under Bill AB1601, judges will have the discretion to impose a ten year license revocation for third time DUI offenders. The Bill must be approved by the Senate, but is widely expected to become state law.
Currently, the revocation period for a third offense is three years with the option of applying for a restricted license after six months if the licensee installs anignition interlock device in any vehicle owned or operated by him or her.
In the present political environment, any proposal to increase penalties for DUI convictions is met with public support and little effective opposition. However, the DUI "net" is being cast over a wider and wider area and many, otherwise law abiding people, are being "caught" in the net with borderline evidence. First time offenders are often surprised by the punitive nature of DUI penalties and the unforgiving attitude of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges. It seems only a matter of time before jail time becomes the norm for a first offense, even at a time when the county jail system is at breaking point with overcrowding.