The California Vehicle Code allows for no “slack” or “lee-way” in the alcohol content of an underage driver. Where a person 21 or over will not violate DUI laws (that is, California Vehicle Section 23152(b)) if he or she drives with a blood alcohol content of .07 or lower, a minor (20 or under) is not allowed to have any measurable amount of alcohol in his or her blood (that is, so much as even 0.01% under California Vehicle Section 23136
If the (s)he is found guilty of violating this vehicle code section, the minor faces an automatic one-year suspension of his or her driver’s license. If the minor does not yet have a California driver’s license, the DMV will issue a one-year delay of the minor’s eligibility to lawfully drive.
If the minor refuses to submit to a chemical test, he or she faces a suspension from one to three years. The length of the suspension is based on whether the minor has had prior convictions under this California zero tolerance law.
Be mindful that this vehicle code section is enforced civilly, not criminally. In other words, there is technically no jail time for this particular offense alone; however, the minor’s California driving privilege may be severely impacted.
Additionally, the prosecutor will charge the minor under California Vehicle Code sections 23152(a): Driving while under the influence of alcohol and 23152(b): Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. A first-offense conviction for DUI can result in significant fines, lengthy probation, lengthy alcohol program, license suspension and more.
An additional charge you or your loved one may face as a result of prosecution for “Underage DUI” includes California Vehicle Code 23140 VC, commonly known as “DUI under 21 with a BAC of 0.05% – 0.07%.” Although this particular offense is an infraction, it is yet another charge with which to contend.
If you or your loved one have been charged with the above offenses pursuant to a “DUI Under 21” prosecution, you or your loved one may be facing the loss of your California driver’s license for one year and other very costly and burdensome consequences.
Ernenwein & Johnson are expert and experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers with over 40 years of combined experience defending persons accused of Underage DUI.
Robert Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys and is Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has been named as a “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News.
The experience and capabilities Ernenwein & Johnson will bring to your Underage DUI Defense are unmatched.
Have you or someone you know been charged with Underage DUI or any other crime? Contact Ernenwein & Johnson, Los Angeles and Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyers today at 310-375-5858 for a free case review.