What Happens When You Get Your First DUI In Los Angeles?

Updated: Aug 26

What To Expect From A 1st Offense DUI In California


So, what happens after a first-offense DUI arrest in Los Angeles?

For a DUI in Los Angeles, several required penalties exist for those found guilty. First, the offender will be put on unofficial probation if a DUI conviction occurs in Los Angeles.

There are other possible consequences to a first-offense DUI in Los Angeles County. Here's how it works, as seen by our prescreened Los Angeles DUI Lawyers:


1. Informal Probation

The individual on informal probation typically isn't required to check in. Still, some courts in Los Angeles may mandate formal probation, where the offender would have a probation officer and be required to check in frequently.

The condition of the probation would be that the person refrains from breaking any laws and commit no new offenses. Like Zero Tolerance, those on formal probation are typically not allowed to drive. At the same time, they have any alcohol in their systems.

In some instances, probation rules also prohibit or forbid visiting places where drinking is the main activity, like bars.

2. Base Fines

Other restrictions could be included in the probationary period. For someone found guilty of drunk driving, additional criteria must be fulfilled in addition to probation. As part of the punishment, the offender would be compelled to pay several fines and fees to the court; according to state law, the payment for a first-time DUI ranges from $390 to $1000.


Other fines and fees are necessary on top of the base of $390 (or more), so it's not just the base fine that must be paid. The fines and fees will be multiplied once the penalties and assessments are added. Depending on the specifics of the court and the specific date of the violation or conviction, that amount is constantly increasing and changing.


If you're unsure about your penalties or suspect something isn't right, consult with prescreened Los Angeles DUI Attorneys. Someone from a trusted Los Angeles criminal defense law firm will have experience handling DUI in California and can help you through the process and work to get the best outcome.


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3. Other Fines And Penalties


There are mandatory statutory additions, which essentially triple the base penalties and hidden costs applied to those found guilty of violating any penal or vehicular code.


Then they include that in the extra court costs, which may include running the courthouse and maintaining security there. Aside from the night court fines, there will be medical expenses, alcohol assessment expenses, and other costs.


These various fines and taxes go to the government to finance the infrastructure that is out there trying to stop people from driving after drinking and serve as a punishment or a deterrent. Again, if you have concerns or questions, consult with your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to ensure you fulfill all requirements for your first-offense DUI.

4. Required Alcohol Education Classes

Someone who has been found guilty of a DUI will also be subject to probation, payment of fines, and what is known as an education course. This DUI alcohol education and driver safety seminars are offered by private businesses that are licensed to collaborate with the county and the state. A three-month alcohol education course would be the minimum for a first-time DUI.


There are other costs that the classes may levy in addition to the cost of the course itself. For example, another third party that sent you to the alcohol program and monitored your progress may be owed referral fees.

5. Installation Of Ignition Interlock Device


One of the four pilot counties in California with an ignition interlock mandate in Los Angeles County. Anyone convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles must have an ignition interlock installed in their automobile.


An ignition interlock is a breathalyzer that attempts to prevent someone from driving under the influence. The contraptions prevent the driver from starting the vehicle.

6. Ignition Interlock Device Costs

The ignition interlock device records the driver's positive alcohol test results; it will notify the third party of any information that needs calibration and regular monitoring. But, of course, these third-party vendors who supply the ignition interlocks for individuals found guilty of a DUI in Los Angeles County come with additional expenses.

The third-party will communicate with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Sacramento, reporting when the installation was completed and when the ignition interlock was removed. They will also report regular calibration and maintenance checks to the DMV. This information is stored in the third party's computers. These are a few requirements that must be met for a first DUI in Los Angeles County.


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