Sentences for a first offense driving under the influence vary throughout California Courts, some Courts are more lenient than others. Torrance tends to be somewhere in the middle, not the toughest, but certainly not the most sympathetic to drunk drivers.
For starters, if you are convicted anywhere in Los Angeles County you will be required to install an ignition interlock on your vehicle for a minimum period of 5 months. Secondly, you will be required to get an SR22 and keep it for 36 months. These are both mandatory requirements that the DMV will impose, not the Court.
Here is a breakdown of the sentencing ranges for a conviction on any VC23152:
1. Informal Probation for a minimum of 36 months
2. Completion of a alcohol offender program at a minimum of 3 months, up to a maximum of 9 months.
3. Completion of a MADD program which is a two hour class that goes over the dangers of drinking and driving, sometimes referred to as a victim impact program.
4. The HAM program which is the hospital and morgue. The person spends 4 hours at the USC medical center where they are educated about the consequences of drunk driving and 8 hours at the LA County Morgue. They are also required to write an essay about what they learned.
5. A monetary fine anywhere from $2000 to $3000, the base fine is $390-$500, however penalty assessments multiply that to a far greater amount.
6. Community Service or labor ranging from none up to 15 days depending upon the blood alcohol level involved.( examples are Cal Trans, Beach cleanup or graffiti removal)
7. Jail, if a refusal is alleged.
8. Restitution for any damage caused by the incident such as property damage or medical bills.
9. A booking fee to the city that arrested you, ranging from $250 up to $500.
10. Loss of your drivers license, anywhere from 4 months to one year depending on the facts such as refusal or high BAC.
It is important to understand that these punishments are not always imposed but are customary. Also, these consequences are for a first offender over 21 with no injury and no kids in the car.