If you are convicted on a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) violation in California, you will be required to attend DUI classes as part of your sentence. The court may also order additional terms of your DUI probation such as attending AA meetings or community service. Failure to abide by the terms of your probation order can result in a number of consequences.
Typically, what happens after the court orders probation on a DUI conviction is that the DUI probationer is required to report his or her progress and/or completion of probation terms. Failing to complete any of the terms of DUI probation is considered a violation of probation and can lead to additional penalties. The court may order you pay fines, complete community service, or even send you to jail for violating probation. In reality though, the court will give you a “pass” on the first and even the second violation, depending on the severity of the violation.
The DMV might not be so forgiving.
For example, most people on DUI (alcohol) probation are ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID). Failing to install this device or otherwise not properly using it can result in the DMV suspending your license to drive. Similarly, the DMV may take action to suspend your license if you do not complete the required DUI classes, even if the court does not find you in violation of the probation order.
The courts are also not always forgiving. Multiple violations of probation or certain serious violations, such as receiving a DUI while on DUI probation, can result in suspension of your drivers license for a time period at the discretion of the judge depending on the nature and severity of your violation. The court may also extend your probation period and add additional restriction to your terms. Worse yet, the court may revoke your probation and order you to jail for the time remaining on the sentence that was suspended in lieu of probation.
It is important for the DUI probationer to understand that a person on DUI probation is subject to zero tolerance. That means he or she cannot drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. Driving with any alcohol in your system is an automatic violation of DUI probation. Even a miniscule blood alcohol content (BAC) result could have serious consequences. A person who gets stopped on a routine traffic stop but does not exhibit any evidence of being under the influence will not be subjected to BAC testing. However, a person on DUI probation likely will, even if he or she exhibits no signs of inebriation. And even if the underlying DUI was for being under the influence of drugs, the zero tolerance law applies to alcohol as well.
You can see why it is important to comply with all court-ordered probation terms. A little pain now avoids much greater pain later. Sometimes the DUI probationer makes the mistake of violating probation and has to face the judge. In those cases, it is wise to have an experienced DUI attorney as an advocate. DUI defense attorneys understand the complicated DUI process and can often save a DUI probationer from the worst consequences of a violation of probation.
Orange County DUI defense attorney William Weinberg strives to make sure every one of his clients receives the best defense available. He is available for a complimentary consultation to discuss your matter and offer his opinion on your defense options. He may be contacted at his Irvine office by calling 949-474-8008 or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.