Underage DUI

El Cajon DUI Defense Attorney

California Underage DUI

If anyone under the age of 21 is arrested for DUI / drunk driving in California, they can face the possibility of three different DUI penalties:

I. The DUI Zero-Tolerance Law: A One Year License Suspension

California Vehicle Code 23136 says it is illegal for a minor, juvenile or person under 21 to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 or more.

If the underage driver has a BAC of .01 or more, the arresting officer will confiscate their drivers license from them. The minor will then be allowed to have a DMV hearing to decide whether the evidence confirms their BAC was at least .01 while driving their vehicle.

If the minor loses at their DMV hearing, their privilege to drive or drivers license will be suspended for one year. If the minor wins the DMV hearing, no driver’s license suspension will be put into effect.

The underage person who was arrested for DUI has the right to be represented by an El Cajon DUI defense attorney. The minor also has the right to testify, call witnesses, and cross-examine the state’s witnesses.

II. Infraction For Drivers Under the age of 21 With a BAC of .05 or Higher in El Cajon

California Vehicle Code 23140 states that it is an infraction for a minor, a juvenile or a person under 21 years of age to drive a vehicle with a BAC of .05 or more.

If a minor is convicted of this section and the standard adult DUI charge (driving under the influence with a BAC of .08 or greater), the court can require them to attend an alcohol education or rehabilitation program.

III. The Standard California DUI Charges

If the underage driver appears to be under the influence, or a blood or breathalyzer test determines that they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, they will more than likely be charged with an adult misdemeanor DUI.

If they are convicted, the court will enforce the same DUI / drunk driving penalties that it does on an adult, which are: probation, fines, an alcohol program, a driving restriction, and a possibility of jail time and/or community service. These penalties are in addition to the two mentioned previously above: the .05 BAC alcohol rehab program and the zero tolerance license suspension for 1 year.