In California, the legal drinking age is 21, which means consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21 years old is illegal – except if the underage drinker is calling to report a medical emergency affecting another underage drinker. Since underage drinkers are responsible for a high amount of alcohol-related vehicle fatalities, the standards and penalties are more severe for those under 21.
The Penalties for Underage DUI
Under Vehicle Code (VC) 23136, anyone under 21 years of age who drives with a BAC of .01% or greater is subject to a one-year suspension of their driver’s license. This code is known as California’s “zero tolerance” law for underage DUI.
VC 23140 applies to underage driving with a BAC of .05% or greater. It is a California infraction that can result in maximum fines of $100, one-year driver’s license suspension, and mandatory DUI school.
However, if a person under 21 years old is arrested for driving with BAC of .08%, he or she is subject to a standard “adult” DUI (VC 23140 (b)). A first-time DUI offense for an adult is subject to driver’s license suspension, three to five years of misdemeanor probation, fines of up to $1,000, and a maximum jail sentence of six months.
How Our Firm Can Help
At Hutton & Wilson, our Los Angeles DUI attorneys are ready to protect your rights and future. Even if you are just facing license suspension for VC 23136 underage DUI, a lawyer can help you challenge your license suspension or help you obtain a “restricted hardship license” if you end up losing it. With more than 65 years of combined experience, we possess the extensive knowledge of California driving laws to help you navigate through the complexities of the legal system.