California has a “zero tolerance” policy for juveniles who are found to be guilty of DUI. If you are juvenile who has been charged with DUI, you may be charged not only for underage DUI, but also traditional DUI if your blood-alcohol content is over the legal limit of 0.08%. If you are a minor and you have been charged with DUI, it is important that you seek an experienced DUI defense attorney to assist you through the legal process.
California’s “Zero Tolerance” Law (California Vehicle Code 23136)
Under California Vehicle Code section 23136, it is unlawful for you to drive a vehicle if you are under the age of 21 and have a blood-alcohol content of 0.01% or greater. This is commonly called California’s “Zero Tolerance” law because it does not require that you be under the influence of alcohol, just that you have some measurable amount of alcohol in your system.
California Vehicle Code section 23136 explains that the law considers you to have already consented to an alcohol screening test or blood-alcohol content test if you are under the age of 21 and operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol.
If you are convicted of DUI under California Vehicle Code section 23136, you face an infraction and the DMV will suspend your driver’s license for up to one year.
Under 21 DUI with a BAC of 0.05% – 0.07% (California Vehicle Code 23140)
California Vehicle Code section 23140 states that it is unlawful for you to operate a vehicle if you are under the age of 21 and your blood-alcohol content is between 0.05% and 0.07%.If you are found guilty under California Vehicle Code section 23140, you face a sentence of up to six months in county jail and a fine of $100. If you are found guilty of a second violation under California Vehicle Code section 23140 within one year, you could face a sentence of up to one year in county jail and the fine increases to $200. The fine increases to $300 for a third offense within one year and you could face up to one year in county jail.
If you are found to have violated California Vehicle Code section 23140, you will also be in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23136, or California’s “Zero Tolerance” law. As a result, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. The court may also require that you attend an alcohol program before your driving privileges are reinstated.
Traditional DUI (California Vehicle Code 23152)
If you are a minor, you may still be charged under California’s traditional DUI law, California Vehicle Code section 23152, if your blood-alcohol content was 0.08% or higher while you were operating the vehicle. A conviction for violating California Vehicle Code section 23152 carries significant consequences. Punishment for a first-time DUI offense in California can require that you serve up to six months in county jail and pay a fine up to $1,000. In addition, court costs and other fees can bring your total cost for a DUI conviction to nearly $16,000. In the alternative, the court may decide to give you probation instead of a jail sentence, which could last for three to five years.
If you have violated California Vehicle Code section 23152, you can still be found to be in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23136 and 23140, and will be subject to the consequences associated with those offenses.
Call an Underage DUI Attorney Today
If you are juvenile facing DUI charges, Wallin & Klarich is here to help. The DUI attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience helping clients avoid the devastating consequences of a DUI conviction and are knowledgeable about juvenile cases. Criminal charges as a juvenile can have a negative effect on your future and affect your life for years to come. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich to help you with your case.
We have offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance and Sherman Oaks.
Call Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 280-6839. We will get through this together.