Whether you’re under 21 and were arrested for underage DUI, or you’re a parent whose son or daughter was arrested for DUI, you have a lot at stake.
California has a “zero tolerance” law when it comes to underage drinking and driving – this means that if you’re under 21 and you have any alcohol in your system, you can get arrested for DUI and lose your license for a year.
The penalties for underage DUI depend on a few factors but blood alcohol concentration (BAC) plays a large role; it dictates the level of penalties that the underage driver is subjected to. Another factor is criminal history and any record of previous DUI convictions.
For starters, anyone arrested for an underage DUI faces the possibility of a one year driver’s license suspension, even if their BAC was low.
Under Vehicle code 23156 VC, you violate California’s “zero tolerance” law when you are under 21 and you drive with a BAC of .01% or more. If you’re found guilty of this offense, your license will be suspended for one year.
On the other hand, if you’re underage and you’re caught driving with a BAC of .05% or higher, you face harsher penalties, including:
- Your license will be suspended for one year,
- You will have to pay a fine, and
- You will have to complete a mandatory alcohol education program (18 or older).
What if my BAC is .08% or higher?
What if your BAC was at or above the .08% legal limit? In that case, you’ve reached the big leagues. Even though you’re under 21, if your BAC was .08% or higher, you can be charged with the same DUI as adults.
If you are charged with a standard adult DUI, you face: 1) license suspension, 2) 3 to 5 years of probation, 3) up to $1,000 in fines, 4) an alcohol or drug education program, and 5) up to 6 months in jail.
An underage DUI can also affect your educational opportunities, which you can learn more about here.
If your family is dealing with an underage DUI, please contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. at once for help. We have a reputation throughout Orange County for being aggressive and highly skilled in DUI defense, so we are your first choice!
Don’t delay; contact us for a free case evaluation!