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California DUI 3rd/Third Offense Penalties

What punishment am I facing for a third-time DUI?

The penalties for each successive DUI over a 10-year period increase exponentially. And there is a big jump in punishment from 2nd to 3rd-time DUI.

When convicted of driving under the influence in California for the third time, the potential penalties are as follows:

  • informal (otherwise known as "summary") probation for three to five years,
  • a minimum of 120 days to a maximum of one year county jail,
  • between $390-$1,000 in fines,
  • a 30-month court-approved DUI school,
  • a three-year driver's license suspension, and
  • designation as a "habitual traffic offender" (HTO) by the California DMV.

If you're charged with a 3rd time DUI, the best strategy is to try to get the charge reduced to a wet reckless or a dry reckless. If you do, then none of the minimum 3rd-time penalties will apply.

Southern California DUI Defense


DUI cases are rarely hopeless. DUI convictions are almost never inevitable. Clients retain our California DUI defense attorneys for one reason: they want to fight the case. And win.

Contact Us For Help

The police arrested you for DUI. You gave a blood or a breath sample. The DUI officer confiscated you drivers license. The police released you with a notice to appear in court in a few weeks. Where do you go from here? Our lawyers are here to guide you step by step.