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Everything You Need To Know About The New DUI Laws in California



For years there has been a rise in drunk and drugged driving in California so new legislation has brought about laws to help try to prevent the unnecessary increase in fatalities and motor vehicle accidents due to this abuse. Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) was specifically targeted under two new mandates which went into effect as of January 1, 2021.


Section 23152 and 23153 were added to the DUI law, and with it these penalties:

  • Within 3 years of a first-time offense, a second offense DUI conviction is punishable by a $390 – $1200 fine plus mandatory penalty assessments.
  • On average 90 hours – 1 year of jail time.
  • The installation of an ignition interlock device for up to 3 years.
  • A strict DUI license suspension for 2 years.


These new sections make it illegal to operate any vehicle while under the influence of any drug, and that of course includes prescription drugs. Here is the description of drugs under California Vehicle Code, Section 312 which states:


… any substance or combination of substances, other than alcohol, which could so affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person as to impair, to an appreciable degree, his ability to drive a vehicle in the manner that an ordinarily prudent and cautious man, in full possession of his faculties, using reasonable care, would drive a similar vehicle under like conditions.”


Now, with the right defense, one may become eligible for a restricted license that would allow for driving to and from work or school but this is granted only by court and CA DMV approval. If you should find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it would be in your best interest to obtain a qualified DUI defendant.


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