Individuals who drive under the influence of alcohol can be harshly punished in the state of California. The results of a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction can be harsher if a driver is accompanied by a minor passenger.
California Vehicle Code Section 23572: DUI with Minor Passenger charges can apply in this situation. Get more information about the results of a VC 23572 conviction here with the Simmrin Law Group. You can also compare VC 23572 charges to child endangerment laws in California.
Defining DUI with a Minor Passenger Charges
Let’s go over the different aspects of VC 23572 charges.
The Definition of a DUI in California
First, let’s consider the definition of a DUI in California. Drivers can be arrested for a DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit. Generally, drivers in California must keep their BAC below:
- 0.01% if They Are Under 21.
- 0.04% if They Are Commercial Drivers.
- 0.08% if They Are Over 21.
However, drivers may be charged with a DUI if a law enforcement officer believes they are unsafe to operate a vehicle, even if their BAC is below these state limits. Drivers can also be charged with a DUI for the use of chemical substances.
The Definition of Minor Passengers
Under VC 23572, minor passengers are any individuals under the age of 14 driving in a motor vehicle. This means that minors from the age of 15-18 are not covered by DUI with a minor passenger charge.
Reviewing the Penalties for DUI with a Minor Passenger Charges
VC 23572 is considered a sentencing enhancement in California’s court system. This means that it adds increased jail time onto an individual’s sentence if they are convicted of a DUI. It is not charged as a stand-alone criminal act.
Drivers convicted of a DUI with a minor passenger can face the following increased penalties:
- 48 Hours in Jail for a 1st DUI Offense.
- 10 Days in Jail for a 2nd DUI Offense.
- 30 Days in Jail for a 3rd DUI Offense.
- 90 Days in Jail for a 4th DUI Offense.
Note that these additional periods of jail time are mandatory and cannot be waived by the court system. Additionally, the charges for a 4th DUI offense only apply if a driver is charged with a misdemeanor. Felony charges will not be impacted by VC 23572 enhancements.
Comparing VC 23572 to Child Endangerment Charges
In some cases, driving with a minor while intoxicated may be considered a form of child endangerment. Penal Code Section 273(a) is used to directly prosecute child endangerment in California. Individuals can face either a misdemeanor or felony charge for child endangerment, leading to:
Misdemeanor Child Endangerment Penalties:
- Fines of Up to $1,000.
- Jail Time of Up to One Year.
Felony Child Endangerment Penalties:
- Fines of Up to $10,000.
- Prison Time of Up to Six Years.
You should be aware that a driver can be charged with both VC 23572 and PC 273(a). However, drivers cannot be convicted of child endangerment and a DUI with a minor passenger. That said, the court system can convict drivers for a DUI and child endangerment.
Going Over Defenses for VC 23572 Enhancements
VC 23572 is a sentencing enhancement in the state of California. This means that it can only be resolved by addressing the underlying DUI charge. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you handle DUI accusations in a number of ways.
Your DUI lawyer could argue that the results of your chemical blood test – or breathalyzer – were inaccurate. These assessments frequently return false-positive results, leading to unfair DUI arrests. A lawyer could also show that you were stopped by a police officer without due cause, which can result in the dismissal of the charges you are facing.
A legal professional could also work to secure you a plea bargain for the DUI charges you are facing. VC 23572 enhancements only apply if you are convicted of a DUI. If your charge can be reduced to reckless driving, you will not face the additional penalties for a DUI with a minor passenger.
Defending Against VC 23572 Charges with a Legal Team
Get advice about California Vehicle Code Section 23572: DUI with Minor Passenger sentencing enhancements with the Simmrin Law Group. Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles can help you take on DUI accusations. Reach out to us now to get a FREE initial case evaluation.