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1-888-891-4385
Hardcore drunk drivers can be defined as individuals who drive with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or above, who do so repeatedly, as demonstrated by having more than one drunk driving arrest, and who are highly resistant to changing their behavior despite previous sanctions, treatment, or education efforts.

Listed below are the terms most closely matching the definition above which could be used in California to identify these offenders:

“Repeat offender”.
Repeat offenders are defined in statute by 2nd or subsequent offense within 7 years.
DUI may be charged as a felony on the 4th offense within 7 years.

DWI REPORTING


Records on repeat offenses are one of the primary means of tracking the problem of hardcore drunk drivers.

The following are key aspects of California records:

New licensees are reviewed for outstanding suspensions/revocations in other states before a license is granted, but DUI convictions from other states are not considered prior offenses in California within the limits of the law.
The approximate number of licensed drivers in California is 19.1 million.
The average BAC level of offenders arrested is approximately .16. In 1995 63% of offenders arrested had a BAC level of .15 or greater.
Statistics kept on repeat offenders are based on both arrests and convictions. According to the most recent information available, in 1996 there were 51,558 arrests, and in 1995 there were 45,955 convictions for 2nd and subsequent DUIs.
In 1995 a total of 43,198 repeat offenders were sentenced to serve time in county or state jails.

IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT


Identifying those drivers who are likely to repeatedly drive drunk and assessing the nature of their underlying problems is essential in order to keep hardcore offenders off the road.


In California identification of repeat offenders varies by jurisdiction and may occur either pre-trial, at sentencing or post-conviction.
In California offenders with a high BAC at the time of arrest are treated as follows:
— Offenders are subject to increased sanctions and are more likely to be identified for treatment.
In California following conviction, offenders as shown below receive a mandatory assessment/evaluation to determine the nature and extent of their alcohol problem:
— The law allows local jurisdictions to independently decide whether or not to mandate assessments for convicted DUI offenders.
In California, where applicable, the assessments are conducted post-trial, but pre-sentencing and the individual returns to court for final sentencing based on the assessment.
In California assessments may be conducted by a court-employed assessment specialist or a private agency at the court’s discretion. The average cost is $75 and is usually borne by the offender.

TREATMENT


Treatment and rehabilitation programs play an important role in reducing hardcore drunk driving.


In California results of any assessment are provided to the judge/administrator presiding over the case. With the aid of the assessment, the offender is referred to treatment. Treatment facilities may either be county operated or privately run and licensed by the state.
In California treatment is mandated for repeat offenders under the following circumstances: 2nd offenders are required to attend an 18-month outpatient treatment program as a condition for unrestricted license reinstatement. Although not mandated by law, 3rd offenders in Los Angeles county may be required to attend a 30-month treatment program.
In California offenders failing to comply with the terms of their program are not eligible for license reinstatement and may be returned to the court for further action.
In Cliafornia the following treatment facility or program specifically targets the hardcore drunk driver: Level I, II (“SB38”) & III programs - see Rehabilitation below.

ENFORCEMENT


While law enforcement works against drunk driving across the board, it is central in the battle against hardcore drunk drivers.

The following enforcement techniques are used in California to detect and apprehend drunk drivers:

Sobriety Checkpoints, Blanket Patrols, Media Blitzes with Enforcement Campaigns, Hot Sheets, Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Mobile Video-taping.


PROSECUTION AND SENTENCING PRACTICES


A number of factors influence the sentence a drunk driver receives.


In California there is no Anti-Plea Bargaining Statute for DUI.
In California the period of time in which a judge or administrator can review an offender’s record (the “look-back” period) is 7 years.
In California at the time of sentencing an individual’s arrest and conviction records are available for consideration by the court. This information will generally include his or her entire criminal record.
In California there are graduated penalties for DUI based on number of offenses.

SANCTIONS


Sanctions against the offender may be derived from criminal action, i.e. court-ordered, or administrative action by the licensing authority as a condition of license reinstatement. Many are aimed at preventing or limiting the opportunity of the hardcore offender to drink and drive. The purpose of others is rehabilitation.

In the State of California, the following sanctions may only be ordered by the court:

Fines: $390 to $5,000 with mandatory minimums.
Incarceration - Mandatory minimums: 2nd offense - 48 consecutive hours, 3rd offense - 30 days, 4th or subsequent - 30 days.
Community Service: At the discretion of the court.
Home Confinement with Electronic Monitoring: At the discretion of the court. Costs range from $10 to $15 a day to be paid by the offender.
Intensive Supervision Probation: At the discretion of the court.
Victim Impact Panel: At the discretion of the court.
Action Against Offender’s Vehicle: Impoundment or Vehicle Forfeiture may be used if a DUI offender is caught driving with a suspended or revoked license.
— Vehicle Immobilization, Registration Cancellation/Plate Seizure: None.
Other Special Assessments/Surcharges: A $50 fee is added to all fines and allocated for county DUI program services. Additional fees may be assessed for the Victim’s Assistance Fund and for EMS costs if required.
The following sanctions may be ordered by the court or by the licensing authority:

Licensing Action:
— Suspension/Revocation: California has both pre-conviction administrative and post-conviction court-ordered with mandatory minimums beginning with the 1st offense. Reinstatement Fee: $100.
— Conditional Licensing: At the court’s discretion. 2nd offenders may be allowed restricted licenses following a 30 day minimum revocation. 3rd offenders are not eligible for a conditional license prior to serving a minimum 24-month license suspension.
— Alcohol Ignition Interlock: Mandatory by statute for repeat offenders but not routinely applied. Task force currently working to improve the legislation and its implementation.
— Autotimer, Fuel Lock, Special Plate Markings: None
Rehabilitation:
— Education and Treatment: Level I (1st offenders) - 3-month outpatient education and treatment program with cost ranging from $200 to $600. Level II (“SB38” 2nd offenders) - 18-month outpatient program with cost ranging from $800 to $1,500. Level III (3rd offenders) - 30-month outpatient program costing $2,100. Treatment levels I and II mandated by statute. Offender must pay.
— Intensive Weekend Intervention: None.


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