The state of California can charge you with driving under the influence (DUI) no matter how old you are. However, drivers under the age of 21 can face special challenges in the court system. You can use this article to find out exactly what happens when you get a DUI under 21 in California.
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can also help you consider your legal options after a DUI arrest. Find out more right here.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limits for Drivers Under 21
Drivers under the age of 21 in the state of California are required to maintain a BAC below 0.01%. California uses a “zero tolerance” policy for underage drinking, which means any trace of alcohol in your system can result in legal repercussions.
If you are stopped and your BAC is above 0.01% but below the legal limit for adult drivers of 0.08%, you may face charges under California Vehicle Code Section 23136. The court can suspend your license for one year if you are found guilty of a VC 23136 violation.
Note that your license can be suspended for a longer period of time if you are found guilty of subsequent VC 23136 violations. A second violation can lead to a license suspension of up to three years. However, you should not face fines or jail time for a VC 23136 violation.
Other DUI Charges for Underage Drivers
VC 23136 is not the only charge used to prosecute underage drivers with an elevated BAC. If your BAC is between 0.05% and 0.07% you could face charges under California Vehicle Code Section 23140. A conviction under VC 23140 can lead to a license suspension of one year and fines of up to $100.
You can also be charged under California’s laws for “adult” DUI offenders if your BAC is over 0.08%. A conviction for this type of DUI can lead to:
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- Up to six months in jail
- Up to one year of a license suspension
You may be required to complete an alcohol treatment program if you are convicted on DUI charges in the state of California.
Additional Impacts of Underage DUI Charges
Many people under the age of 21 are concerned with going to college or getting a job. A DUI conviction will show up on your criminal record. Potential employers and institutions of higher learning can view your criminal record.
This means that a DUI conviction could stop you from attending your dream college. DUI convictions in California can also make it more difficult to secure a job, as employers are within their rights to deny you employment based on your criminal record.
Underage DUI Charges and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
You should be aware that, in addition to the criminal charges you face after a DUI arrest, you will need to request a hearing with the DMV. You have 10 days after you are arrested to request this hearing, regardless of your age.
If you do not request a hearing, the DMV can automatically suspend your license 30 days after your arrest. Make sure you are ready to handle your criminal charges and your DMV hearing by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles for help with under 21 DUI charges.
Get Legal Help with Under 21 DUI Charges
You don’t have to try to handle a DUI charge on your own if you are under 21. You can get professional help building a strong defense by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group after you are arrested. Our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles can:
- Offer you legal advice right away
- Help you during interviews with prosecutors
- Look over any plea bargains you are offered
- Take steps to get your charges reduced or dismissed
- Fight for you in court
Our team of legal professionals understands what it takes to help drivers in your situation. We know that a DUI conviction when you’re under 21 can have a tremendous impact on your life. Let us work on your defense now.
Allow a DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles to Help You
Now that you know what happens when you get a DUI under 21, you know how important it is to secure professional legal assistance. You can reach the Simmrin Law Group today to get the assistance you deserve. Speak with our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles today to get a FREE consultation.
You can contact us easily by calling (310) 997-4688 or completing our online contact form.