Recent Changes to California DUI Laws

AB1601 signed into law effective 2012, gives judges discretion to revoke a person’s driving privilege for a 10 year period, following a 3rd conviction for DUI within 10 years. As an Orange County DUI Defense Attorney, it is important to understand that the new law affects not only third time offenders but, the effect it has on the current laws that regulate the different options available to multiple offenders. One question is how will the new AB 1601 law conflict with SB 598? SB 598, in effect now, allows a third-time DUI offender to get a restricted license, after a one-year suspension, if an ignition interlock device is installed in their vehicle.

Since this law was introduced in January of 2010, there have been many amended versions which were much more punitive. As we learn more about this new law and the effects it will have on the Department of Motor Vehicles and suspended licenses, it is important to understand that clearly the laws are becoming more severe when it comes to multiple offenders.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there were about 200,000 DUI convictions in California in the year 2008. Of the total convictions, 9,164 were third-time DUI offenders within 10 years and another 3,200 had four or more DUI offenses. While 9,164 and 3,200 multiple offenders is a high number, it is important to note that less than 5% of those arrested in 2008 were third and fourth offenders. The majority of people arrested for DUI are first time offenders that never repeat the offense again.

As an aggressive DUI defense attorney, my focus is on miimizing the effect a conviction for DUI can have on a person’s life and further, focusing on preventing the person from commiting the same offense by introducing alcohol programs in lieu of jail time.

Orange County DUI’s are a very common crime but need to be taken very seriously. Without the benefit of an experienced DUI Attorney, fines and penalties can be very harsh. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, it is important to consult with an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, who specializes in Driving Under the Influence cases, as well as is familiar with all the the Courts in Orange county.

If you would like to know more about Driving Under the Influence, contact Orange County California Criminal Defense Attorney William M. Weinberg at his Irvine, California office at 949-474-8008 or at

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