In Orange County, California and throughout the rest of the nation, the
legal drinking age is 21. That means that if you’re under 21, you
can’t purchase alcohol, nor can you drive while under the influence
of drugs or alcohol.
For drivers 21 and older, they cannot legally drive with a .08% blood alcohol
concentration (BAC) or above. While someone who is 21 or older may be
able to have a drink or two and get away with it, for someone under 21,
they can’t even have one drink and drive thanks to California’s
While some states set the threshold for underage drivers at .01%, that’s
NOT the case in California.
Penalties for Underage DUI in California
If you are under 21 and are arrested for DUI, you face the following penalties:
First Underage DUI Offense
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Up to $2,600 fine
- Up to 10 month driver’s license suspension
Second Underage DUI Offense
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $2,800 fine
- 2 years driver’s license suspension
What are the other consequences of a conviction?
If you are convicted of underage DUI in California, you will face other
consequences. For example, your auto insurance carrier may terminate the
policy after the underage DUI, whereas other companies may refuse to renew.
Or, if your insurance company decides to keep you, they’ll increase
your monthly premium by $100 to $200 or more – ouch! What’s
worse, this raise usually stays in effect for three to five years, which
translates to thousands more in insurance costs. Can you or your parents
An underage DUI can impact a young person’s college education. Colleges
generally require that applicants disclose their DUIs on college applications.
A recent DUI can negatively affect an applicant’s ability to get
into their college of choice, and it can lead to a denial of much-needed
Additionally, a DUI can mean an applicant won’t be allowed to play
on certain college sports teams, and if a student fails to disclose the
DUI on a college application and the school later finds out about it,
the student can be kicked out of the school.
Our Advice to Young Drivers
The consequences of an
underage DUI are far-reaching and can have a huge impact on your financial and educational
future, which leads us to one conclusion: it’s worth fighting your DUI.
If you are facing underage DUI charges,
contact our office to speak with an Orange County DUI attorney. There are legal defenses
available and you want to do everything you can to safeguard your future.