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Underage DUI

San Diego, CA DUI Defense Attorneys – DUI Crew

San Diego DUI Defense Attorney

California Underage DUI

If a person under 21 is arrested for DUI / drunk driving in California, they can face the possibility of three separate DUI penalties:

I. The DUI Zero-Tolerance Law: A One Year License Suspension

California Vehicle Code 23136 says it is illegal for a minor, juvenile or person under 21 to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 or more.

If it’s determined that the underage driver has a BAC of .01 or more, the arresting officer will confiscate their drivers license. The minor will then be entitled to have a DMV hearing to determine whether the evidence confirms their BAC was at least .01 while driving.

If the minor loses their DMV hearing, their drivers license will be suspended for 1 year. If the minor wins at the DMV hearing, no driver’s license suspension will take effect.

The underage person who was arrested for DUI / drunk driving has a right to be represented by a San Diego DUI defense attorney at the DMV hearing. They also have a right to testify, call witnesses, and cross-examine the state’s witnesses.

II. Infraction For Drivers Under 21 With a BAC of .05 or Higher

California Vehicle Code 23140 states that it is an infraction for a minor, a juvenile or a person under the age of 21 to drive a vehicle with a BAC of .05 or more.

If a minor is convicted of this section as well as the standard adult DUI charge (driving under the influence or driving with a BAC of .08 or more), the court may require them to enroll in an alcohol education or rehabilitation program.

III. The Standard California DUI Charges

If the underage driver appears to be under the influence, or a blood or breathalyzer test determines a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more, they will most likely be charged with an adult misdemeanor crime of DUI.

If convicted, the court will enforce the same DUI / drunk driving penalties that it does on an adult: probation, fines, an alcohol program, a driving restriction, and a possibility of jail time and/or community service. These penalties are in addition to the two mentioned previously: the .05 BAC alcohol rehabilitation program and the zero tolerance one-year license suspension.


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