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California's Zero Tolerance Law

Are you a teen driver in Orange County? Or, are you the parent of a teen driver? Either way, you want to be informed about California’s underage drinking and driving laws, particularly California’s “Zero Tolerance Law,” which applies to all drivers under the age of 21.

What is the Zero Tolerance Law and how does it apply to teen drivers? For starters, teen drivers are in a special class of drivers called “Provisional Licensees.”

Teens, who hold this special type of driver’s license in California already have to follow certain “stipulations” or provisions that determine who can be their passengers, and the times of day that they can drive on the public roads.

There is another provision or law that applies to young drivers under the age of 21 – it’s called the Zero Tolerance Law. Under this law, it’s against the law for people under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01% or more.

Violating the Zero Tolerance Law

A teen driver’s BAC is measured by a breath test given to him or her by a police officer. Under California’s Zero Tolerance law, if you’re caught driving with any measurable alcohol in your body, your license will be suspended for one year if:

  • Your BAC registers .01% or higher,
  • You refuse to take the roadside breath test, called the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, or
  • For some reason, you do not complete the PAS test. For example, you pass out.

What Exactly is BAC?

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) refers to the alcohol concentration or level in your blood. At .01% BAC, you are considered an impaired driver for legal purposes if you are under the age of 21.

For drivers 21 and older, the legal BAC limit is .08% or more; however, drivers 21 and older can still be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if their BAC is below .08%, especially if the state can show that the driver was impaired by alcohol.

Are you, or your teenager facing underage DUI charges in Orange County? Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to speak with the DUI Queen!