Bill would toughen California's drunken driving laws

| Friday, January 07, 2005

Drivers with multiple DUI convictions could soon face losing their driver’s licenses – permanently. Some could even face jail time.

A bill, AB4, introduced by Rep. Russ Bogh, R-Yucaipa, would change the current standard – revocation for three to five years for a person convicted of drunken driving three or more times – to a permanent revocation.

The bill would also remove an important time limitation in the current law.

The state’s laws on drunken driving call for jail time and fines if a series of convictions occurs within a 10-year period. For example, if a person were convicted of drunken driving, and the offense took place within 10 years after two convictions for reckless driving, that person could face 120 days to a year in jail and $390 to $1,000 in fines.

AB4 would remove the 10-year provision, meaning if a person were ever convicted of drunken driving after being convicted twice of reckless driving, that person would face jail time and a fine.

The 10-year provision applies to several combinations of offenses with drunken driving in the California Vehicle Code; AB4 removes all the 10-year limits.

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