The Governor signed into law AB 1601 on Monday, September 27, imposing stricter penalties for drivers who are repeatedly caught driving under the influence. The measure by Democratic Assemblyman Jerry Hill (San Mateo) gives judges the authority to impose a driver's license suspension of up to 10 years if a person is convicted of three DUIs within a 10 year period. Currently, courts may only take away a driver's license for three years following a third DUI conviction. An earlier draft would have stripped drivers' licenses for life after three DUIs, and it sought to throw out a rule limiting how far back authorities can look at a person's driving record. But when a state analysis revealed that the bill could put more people in prison and thus cost more money, Hill was forced to revise it.
The law will not take effect immediately instead it will take effect on January 1, 2012.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records there are 1.5 million DUI arrests in California every year, of those a third are for drivers with prior convictions for DUI.
If you have been arrested for a criminal offense or know someone who has, please contact the Law Offices of David M. Wallin to speak with criminal defense attorneys with a combined 50 years of criminal law experience representing thousands of people charged with criminal offenses.