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Understanding Underage DUI

The consequences of an underage DUI can have grave, life-altering implications for a young person’s future prospects. If you or someone you love has been charged with underage DUI, you only have 10 days to hire the right defense team and protect your rights.

Drinking and Driving Laws for Underage Drivers

In the state of California, anyone under the age of 21 who is found to be driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01% is in violation of California’s Zero Tolerance Law, and may be charged with underage DUI. Unlike an adult DUI, in which a driver is found to be operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, an underage driver may be charged with DUI if their BAC is 0.01%, which can be equivalent to one drink or less. Since the laws for underage drinking are zero tolerance, the driver does not have to exhibit any signs of impaired driving; the simple fact that they consumed alcohol before or during driving is sufficient cause to be charged with underage DUI.

Consequences for Underage DUI

An underage DUI can result in fines up to several thousand dollars, and will usually involve a license suspension of at least one year. The possibility of jail time increases depending on the underage driver’s BAC.

Aside from fines and jail time, underage people found guilty of drunk driving will face consequences that affect their current and future social lives and careers. If convicted of underage DUI, you have to list the conviction on college applications, which could affect college admissions. If convicted of underage DUI while attending university, your school may remove you from your area of study, particularly if you’re studying education or pre-law.

Protect Your Rights and Future

If you or someone you love has been charged with underage DUI, it’s important to act quickly and hire a qualified defense attorney. You only have 10 days from the time of your arrest to contact the DMV to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license, or it will be suspended regardless of the outcome of your case.


Young drivers have much to lose if convicted of underage DUI. If you or someone you love is facing an underage DUI charge, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry at (949) 537-2202 for a free consultation today!