Common Penalties For Underage DUI
When it comes to underage DUI – driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances when a person is under 21 years old, the law enforcement authorities in the state of California are very strict. The law clearly states that any adult person with BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08% or more is driving under the influence of alcohol and is therefore breaking the law.
If an underage driver (a person under 21 years of age) is operating the vehicle with only 0.01% of BAC, he is also breaking the law and is driving under the influence. Such a small amount of alcohol in blood is good enough for the law enforcement authorities to arrest the underage driver, since the Zero Tolerance law from the 90s is a very harsh one in regards to the underage DUI offenders. In addition, if an underage driver is also refusing to submit the BAC tests or field sobriety tests, the Zero Tolerance law states that his or her driver’s license is going to be automatically revoked.
If an underage driver was caught breaking the law of driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances, he or she risks having the driver’s license revoked for up to a year and if he or she is caught for the second time breaking the same law, the license is going to be suspended for up to three years or more, depending on the circumstances. The Sacramento DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is handling the revocation process and it is independent from the decisions made by the criminal court.
License Suspension And Zero Tolerance Law
The Zero Tolerance law is very strict, so even an underage DUI offender may well be suffering from the following penalties:
- Suspended driver’s license – a decision that will be made by the DMV
- Expensive fines – depending on the crime, it will be thousands and thousands of dollars
- A minimum of three months in an alcohol awareness program – an obligatory measure and the criminal will have to pay for those classes as well
- A number of judges will oblige the underage criminal to refrain from alcohol usage completely, which implies that in case the same person is going to be caught with any level of alcohol in his or her system, he or she is going to face more legal penalties
Nevertheless, one must also remember that the police officers have no right to pull people over with no reason. Furthermore, they cannot arrest a person on suspicion alone – they will need to ask him or her to perform field sobriety tests and act in line with the results. Therefore, in case you or your underage loved ones were charged with an underage DUI offense, it is very important to find a good legal representative, who will be capable of handling the matter effectively. If you have been charged with an underage DUI, contact us now!