10-year license revocation for three DUIs under new law

Californians who are convicted of DUI three or more times could have their license suspended for up to 10 years.

Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, authored the bill and eight others that became law on Jan. 1, 2012.

Hill said this month that the repeat DUI offender bill was inspired by a case in which an inebriated man "stumbled" into a Starbucks in the Laurelwood Shopping Center in San Mateo while two California Highway Patrol officers were there having coffee.

The officers watched the man get back into his vehicle and drive away, Hill said. They followed and pulled the suspect over, which resulted in the offender's ninth DUI conviction.

"Unless you injure or kill someone, your license could only be suspended for three years," Hill said of existing laws.

After hearing about the case and researching conditions under current law -- which puts the authority to suspend a license for up to three years in the hands of the Department of Motor Vehicles -- Hill found that there were more than 300,000 DUI offenders with three or more convictions that were allowed to drive on California roadways.

"I thought, 'This is crazy,'" Hill said.

The new law allows a judge to punish a repeat DUI offender with a suspension of up to 10 years after a third conviction.

According to Hill's office, if every judge utilized the 10-year license revocation in the new law, more than 10,000 repeat DUI offenders could be taken off the state's roadways every year.

Hill said he hopes the new law will help improve the safety on the roads for all Californians.

— Bay City News Service


Like this comment
Posted by wimp
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 31, 2011 at 11:05 am

What a wimpy law. 3 DUIs should get a 10 year jail sentence.

If people are stupid enough to drive drunk, they are also stupid enough to drive with a suspended license. Even one DUI should get a jail sentence. Give them some tough love now so they don't kill an innocent person (possibly a friend or relative) the next time.

Like this comment
Posted by Incarceration-Cost-Big-$$$!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2011 at 11:54 am

> 3 DUIs should get a 10 year jail sentence.

With incarceration costs at/abover $35,000 per year in CA, this sentiment would impose an additional "fine" (in terms of new taxes) on non-drinkers of a minimum of $350,000 per newly incarcerated/former drunk driver. The cost for such a law would doubtless start off in the hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes .. growing into the billions over time.

A better solution would be to require in-vehicle alcohol detection equipment that refuses to start the car, and emails the local police that someone who was drunk tried to start the car.

Over time, it would become clear how many people have lied to the courts about their desired to "never drive drunk again". And maybe sooner-or-later, every car could have such a device as required equipment.

Like this comment
Posted by hmmm
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Second DUI should require mandatory substance abuse program attendance -- at the driver's expense, AND suspension of license AND in-vehicle alcohol detection equipment for another ten years.

THREE times is too much. There is no such thing as a petty DUI.

The Portugese are notoriously crazy drivers (according to them), but in Lisbon, you never seen anyone run a red light. I asked a friend why. His answer? They take away your license (for good).

Like this comment
Posted by Koa
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm

In Oklahoma, your 3rd DUI conviction results in 1 to 10 years in state prison.

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