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Under 21 DUI
The state of California is a zero tolerance state which makes it illegal for persons under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .01 percent or higher. Additionally, the minors are prohibited from having any open or closed alcohol containers in their vehicle.
In California, a person who is under the age of 21 and is caught driving with a B.A.C. at .01 percent level is in violation of Vehicle Code section 23136. The threshold for minors is substantially lower than those who are of the legal drinking age because of the significant number of traffic related accidents involving minors and alcohol in the state. As a result, the state has taken a tougher stance on drunk drivers who are under the age of 21 and so zero tolerance means just that, no tolerance of any alcohol or drugs found in a minor’s body system at the time of driving.
Similar to DUI cases involving adults, a person under the age of 21 who has been caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs could have their driver’s license suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV). What’s different about that suspension is it is for one year and there is no option for a restricted license.
If your loved one has been arrested for violating drunk driving laws in this state, you will want to consult with a San Diego DUI defense attorney immediately because one of the important factors the prosecutor and judge will consider is the B.A.C. level at the time of the arrest.
The next B.A.C. threshold for minors is .05. A minor found driving with a B.A.C. of .05 or greater is in violation of Vehicle Code section 23140. Both of the “minor DUI” charges are infractions instead of a felony or misdemeanor offense. If minors or persons under the age of 21 are arrested for violating the California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a or b), which makes it illegal to drive with a B.A.C. of .08 percent or higher, it will be a misdemeanor offense, subjecting the person to the same penalties as an adult.
Lastly, minors, under the age of 21, whether or not they are passengers in a vehicle and are found to be in possession of alcohol in a car, could face fines up to $1,000, up to six months in a county jail, a minimum one-year license suspension, or impounding the vehicle for a period of 1 day up to 30 days.