Underage DUI

Under 21 DUI Charges in California

California takes a zero tolerance stance when it comes to underage drinking.

If you’re under 21 and there’s any detectable alcohol in your system (.01% BAC), you may be charged with underage DUI.

You may be charged with driving under the influence even if you have not consumed alcohol. If you’ve taken medicine containing alcohol that impairs your driving or is detectable via a breathalyzer test, you may be charged with underage driving under the influence.

It also includes possession of alcohol in a vehicle by someone under the age of 21 (there are some exceptions, as long as the container is full, unopened, and sealed).

Under California law, you must report an underage DUI conviction on any criminal history requests. This is why hiring an experienced attorney is essential. They may be able to help keep this charge off your permanent record.

Penalties for Underage DUI

  • Mandatory 1 year driver’s license suspension.
  • May also include:
    • $100 fine
    • Required attendance in an alcohol education program
    • Up to 5 years probation

Additional possible punishment, you may face for an underage DUI:

If you have over .05% BAC:

  • Mandatory 1 year driver’s license suspension
  • Required attendance in an alcohol education program

If you have over .08% BAC:

  • Punishment is similar to a regular DUI, depending on the charge
  • Required attendance in an alcohol education program

Possible Defenses

  • You can demonstrate that you were not the one driving or operating the vehicle
  • Calibration or use of the testing equipment lead to an inaccurate result or malfunctioned
  • Proper procedures were not followed by the arresting officer
  • The alcohol came from another source, such as mouthwash
  • And many others

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