DUI probation is a 3-to-5-year period after your conviction where you are subject to special rules and must complete certain obligations. Should you violate the terms of your DUI probation in California, you can find yourself having to pay hefty fines and even serve time in jail. Probation is part of almost every criminal sentence in California.
There are two kinds of probation:
- Formal or “supervised” probation, where you must check in regularly with a probation officer
- Summary or “unsupervised” probation, where you do not have a probation officer, but you must follow certain rules
DUI convictions usually come with a three to five-year period of summary probation. It is very rare in California to receive supervised probation for a DUI. Probation comes with rules you must follow and special obligations you must fulfill.
Talk to a Los Angeles DUI attorney about your case as soon as possible so you can fight the charges levied against you. Or, if you have been convicted, protect your rights when waiting for sentencing.
Rules of DUI Probation
Rules during DUI probation include:
- You cannot commit any crime. If you do, you will face penalties for probation violation on top of the criminal penalties.
- You cannot drive with any amount of alcohol in your system, which means that even if your tested blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the normal legal limit of .08%, you could still get a new DUI. The general cutoff for drivers on DUI probation is .04%, but it can be less.
- You cannot refuse a chemical test if suspected or arrested for DUI. If an officer asks you to take a roadside PAS test, you must take it, and if arrested, you must submit to a blood, breath, or urine test.
These are just the basic rules. The judge may impose additional probation guidelines as well. In some cases, you may be ordered not to drink any alcohol (or take any drugs) during the entire probation period.
Speak with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer today about your case. A lawyer makes it easier to protect yourself when undergoing probation and ensures that you do not break any of the conditions.
Other DUI Probation Requirements in California
During your probation, you face additional requirements as well. Unlike the rules above, which are just things you “can’t” do, the other requirements are things you must do. If you do not fulfill them, you are violating your probation so at a minimum, you must do the following when placed on probation for DUI in California:
- Pay your fines and court fees related to your DUI, or set up a payment plan to get them paid
- Enroll in and complete DUI traffic school
- Complete your jail time, if any. But jail time is sometimes waived when you complete your probation.
The sentence may order additional requirements as well. The most common requirements for California DUI probation are the following:
- Completing a certain number of hours of addiction treatment
- Installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicles, so you cannot start them without passing a breath test
- Community service
- Attending a “deterrent program” that tries to scare you into driving sober in the future.
The judge has many other options, from wearing a SCRAM bracelet to house arrest; the above are just the most common. Do you have questions about DUI probation in California? If so, it is in your best interest to speak with a Los Angeles DUI attorney about your case.
What if You Break Probation?
Breaking any condition of your DUI probation can lead to jail time, fines, and other penalties. Do not take risks with your probation. Talk to a lawyer today about how you can live your life while on probation for DUI.
If you follow the rules, fulfill your obligations, and wait for three to five years, your probation is complete. If you break any of the probation conditions, you could be brought back into court, face additional penalties, and serve any jail time that was waived earlier. This is why you should talk to an attorney about your case, especially if you broke any of the conditions of DUI probation in California.
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