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California Underage DUI Laws

 Posted on January 06, 2023 in DUI

san franscisco dui defense lawyerCalifornia prohibits drivers from operating while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Both legal adults who are able to legally consume alcohol as well as people less than 21 years of age can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Adults in California face charges if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or greater. People under 21 years of age must comply with the zero-tolerance policy in California under which a person can face possible penalties for driving with a BAC of as little as 0.01 percent.

A zero-tolerance violation results in a one-year driver's license suspension. Alleged offenders with BACs of 0.05 percent or higher face a one-year suspension as well as mandatory alcohol education classes. If an underage driver has a BAC above 0.08 percent, he or she will face the same DUI penalties as adults over 21 years old. 

Underage DUI Penalties

When a juvenile is charged with the standard DUI offense because of a BAC of 0.08 or more, or they are exhibiting signs of impairment to police officers, then the penalties will increase to fines as high as $1,000, three to five years misdemeanor probation, and a one-year suspension of driving privileges. Drivers under 21 years of age can also face driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) charges or possibly DUI causing injury, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, or DUI murder charges when they cause traffic accidents while impaired.

California state law authorizes the use of a preliminary alcohol screening test or other chemical test to determine a person’s BAC following an alleged DUI stop, and drivers are usually told that they are obligated to comply with requests for these tests as a condition of being licensed to drive in the state. Drivers can decline these tests, but they will immediately face a driver’s license suspension of at least one year for test refusal.

Offenders can challenge their suspensions of driving privileges by requesting hearings with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, although such hearings are not automatic and must be requested within ten days of a person’s citation for DUI. Even if a person does not succeed at their hearing, they can still seek a restricted driver’s license or possibly appeal the decision.

Contact a San Francisco DUI Defense Lawyer

If you or your child has been arrested for an underage DUI offense in California, contact an experienced Napa DUI defense attorney at Burglin Law Offices, P.C.. 

Our firm understands all of the stress that can accompany these types of cases, but we also know how to help people overcome many of the obstacles that they will encounter. We will be able to help you as soon as you call 415-729-7300 or contact us online to set up a personalized consultation.





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