If you are 21 or older, you will not face DUI charges unless you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or above. However, the situation is different if the person is under the age of 21. The state of California’s zero tolerance law punishes drivers under the age of 21 who are found to have 0.01% or more breath or blood alcohol concentration, even as measured by a preliminary alcohol screening device (PAS). Additional penalties apply for those with BAC numbers over 0.05%, including misdemeanor or felony prosecution for adult DUI under Vehicle Code Section 23152. If a child or person under the age of 21 is driving with a BAC over 0.08%, he may face probation, fines, and even jail time if found guilty.
Possible Outcomes of Being Charged with Below Legal Age Driving Under Influence
Youthful offenders face one or more years of driver’s license suspension as a result of zero tolerance violations. Unlike adults suspended after being arrested for DUI, underage drivers are not allowed to convert this driving privilege suspension to restriction without separately petitioning the Department of Motor Vehicles for a determination of critical need to drive. If you petition the DMV, you will be granted a hearing where you can discuss your offense and fight for the reinstatement of your driving privileges with the help of a defense lawyer. The DMV is uncompromising in prosecuting petitions to suspend the driving privileges of minors caught with alcohol or marijuana. Drivers either win or lose their licenses.
In court, if you are convicted of this crime, you will face hefty fines, a separate court-ordered driver’s license suspension, alcohol treatment programs, and an assortment of other punishments depending on the varying judgment of frequently changing bench officers who hear these matters in our local courts. DUI cases are no joke–a conviction can stay on your record long after the case is over. After an arrest, it is recommended you seek help from experienced lawyers to help you through this difficult process. Our attorneys help each client through each step of the process, from the DMV hearings, through the trial, where we will analyze your case and determine if the police officer followed the proper procedure, administered the test correctly, and respected your rights.
Contact an Orange County and Irvine Underage DUI Attorney
At The Law Offices of Todd Landgren, we provide effective legal representation for underage drivers who have been cited for zero tolerance violations and similar offenses in Orange County. Contact us immediately if you have been cited or arrested. We apply decades of successful experience in Orange County DUI defense to provide our clients with the best possible chance of not suffering the consequences that come with an below legal age driving under influence charge. If you are facing drunk driving charges in Irvine, Newport Beach, or any other city in Orange County, California, contact a criminal defense attorney at our law firm by calling 949-535-1303 or filling out the evaluation form on this website.