California has adopted a "zero tolerance" law when it comes to underage drinking and driving, that is, individuals who are under the legal drinking age of 21 who drink and drive. Any under 21 individual whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) meets or exceeds .01 percent can have their license immediately suspended by the DMV.
Compare this to the regular legal drinking limit of .08 percent BAC and .04 percent for commercial drivers. Drivers under the age of 21 cannot have any measurable alcohol in their system while driving. Administrative per se (APS) laws for under 21 drivers can also have their licenses automatically suspended for refusing to submit to or complete a chemical test. This law was passed in 1990 and can be found in § 23136 of the California Vehicle Code.
If you've been arrested for drunk driving and you're under the age of 21, you should have been given a temporary driving permit that is good for 30 days. After these 30 days is up, then you will not be allowed to drive unless you have successfully contested your suspension at an administrative DMV hearing.
In California, you have ten days from the date of your arrest to request a DMV hearing. At this hearing, you can have an attorney present to help you contest suspension so that your driving privileges can be restored. In a majority of cases, your arresting officer will not be present at the DMV hearing. The DMV hearing is completely separate from your criminal hearing.
If you are under the age of 21 and have been arrested for drunk driving, there is still hope to stave off a conviction and administrative license suspension. Contact an Orange County DUI attorney at The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry today to discuss your case for free.