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Underage DUI: Automatic License Suspensions

Since California is such a big place, most residents rely on their driver licenses to get to work, school, and everywhere else they need to go. But for drivers under the age of 21, they face an automatic driver license suspension if they are caught driving with any amountof alcohol in their bloodstream.

California has what’s called an Administrative Per Se Immediate Driver License Suspension or Revocation, known as “Admin Per Se” or APS. California’s APS statute was signed into law in 1990 in an effort to deter drunk driving.

The State of California strictly prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from drinking alcohol, and under the Admin Per Se law, if an underage driver (someone under 21) is caught with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system while driving, their license faces an automatic suspension.

What Happens to Your Driver License?

Under Section 23136 of the California Vehicle Code, the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any driver under the age of 21 who is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol who:

  • Took a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test and registered a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.01% or more.
  • Took a blood or breath test and had a BAC of 0.01% or above.
  • Refuses to complete or take a PAS, blood, or breath test.

If an underage driver is arrested for DUI, the officer will take away their driver license and send it to the DMV to be destroyed. The officer will issue a temporary driver license that will be good for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, the APS license suspension or revocation will automatically go into effect.

Note:If a young person is arrested for DUI, they have 10 days to request a DMV hearing to contest the suspension or revocation of their driver license.

Related: What is the Zero Tolerance Law in California?

Were you, or someone you love arrested for an underage DUI? If so, an Orange County DUI attorney from our firm can represent you at the DMV hearing to fight your license suspension. We can also represent you in criminal court. Contact our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.