California uses strict laws to regulate alcohol usage by minors (or individuals under 21). Minors are not allowed to purchase or drink alcohol. They can also face criminal charges for carrying an open container of alcohol in their vehicles.
You can find out more about charges for minors carrying open containers of alcohol in their vehicles with the Simmrin Law Group. Call (310) 997-4688 to focus on legal defenses for this criminal act in California.
Possessing an Open Container While Driving in California
According to Vehicle Code Section 23222(a), no one in California is legally allowed to transport an open container of alcohol. Even drivers over 21 are only legally allowed to carry alcohol in their vehicle if the container is:
However, individuals over 21 may be able to carry opened alcohol containers if these containers are in a locked container, in the bed of their pickup truck, or in the trunk of their vehicle. These exceptions do not apply to minors.
Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle by a Person Under 21
You should be aware that drivers under 21 can also face criminal charges for carrying a closed, sealed, and full container of alcohol in California. Vehicle Code Section 23224 allows the court system to charge a driver for possession of alcohol in a vehicle by a person under 21.
However, there are exceptions for VC 23224 charges. Drivers under 21 may carry closed containers of alcohol if they are in a vehicle with:
- A parent or legal guardian
- A duly responsible adult relative
- A responsible adult assigned by their parent
Furthermore, drivers under 21 can transport alcohol if they are ordered to do so by a responsible adult, or if they are moving the alcohol as part of certain jobs.
Penalties for Transporting Alcohol as a Minor in California
Drivers under 21 who are accused of transporting alcohol in a vehicle may face a number of serious penalties. A conviction under either VC 23222(a) or VC 23224 can result in:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to six months
- License suspension of up to one year
These penalties can have serious impacts on your life. You can get help successfully resolving a charge for transporting alcohol in your vehicle by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Call (310) 997-4688 to get in contact with the Simmrin Law Group today.
Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle and DUI Charges
Law enforcement officers in California often suspect that a driver is under the influence of alcohol if they find alcohol in a vehicle. This suspicion can arise even if the containers of alcohol are closed. The officer may then request that a driver complete field sobriety tests (FSTs) or blood alcohol content (BAC) tests.
All drivers under 21 are legally required to complete requested FSTs and BACs, even if they are not yet arrested. Refusal to take these tests can lead to the automatic suspension of a driver’s license in California.
Drivers under 21 can face charges for driving under the influence (DUI) if their BAC is at or above 0.01%. This means that even a single drink of alcohol could lead to DUI charges for minors in the state of California.
Results of an Under 21 DUI Conviction
Under 21 DUI charges can have severe repercussions. Drivers with a low BAC may only have their licenses suspended. They may also face small fines. However, drivers with a BAC that exceeds the adult BAC level – or 0.08% – can face more serious consequences, including:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- Jail time of up to six months
Additionally, all DUIs in California are priorable. This means that they remain on a driver’s record for 10 years. DUI convictions can make it harder for drivers to get into the college of their choice or to secure the job they want.
Fortunately, you can get help managing charges for carrying open containers of alcohol or for a DUI by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Allow us to start working on a defense to the traffic violation charges you’re facing now.
Call a Lawyer About Charges for an Open Container of Alcohol in Your Vehicle
Both adults and minors can face criminal charges if they have an open container of alcohol in their vehicles. Minors can also be charged for carrying closed containers of alcohol. The Simmrin Law Group can help in either of these situations. Call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about your legal options.
Our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles can discuss your case now with a FREE initial case evaluation.