Any California DUI conviction is going to mean trouble in your life, but if you are convicted of a third DUI within ten years, the sentence can be extraordinarily harsh; after two previous chances, “habitual” DUI offenders receive no leniency from California courts.

Upon your third DUI conviction, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license for up to three years. (After the first year you may be eligible for a restricted license that will allow you to drive to and from work and school.) Criminal penalties for a third California DUI conviction include a fine up to $1,000 plus court fees and enhancements. Most counties require you to serve at least 120 days in jail, but the court has the discretion to sentence you to a year in prison. In southern California, an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney may be able to work out alternative sentencing such as community service or house arrest. With a third DUI conviction, you’ll also be on probation from three to five years and required to attend an 18-month alcohol treatment program. When you are on probation for DUI in California:

  • You cannot drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood
  • You cannot refuse a blood or breath test if arrested again for DUI
  • You cannot commit any additional crimes


When you face a third DUI charge within ten years in California, you have the right to a jury trial. In southern California, obtain help from an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. A good DUI defense lawyer can sometimes have a third DUI reduced to a lesser offense and in some cases dismissed altogether. In fact, if you face any kind of DUI charge in southern California, protect your freedom and your future, and call an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately.