A DUI for a minor or person under 21 comes under the California “Zero-Tolerance” portion of the vehicle code. Any minor under 21 who is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol of any concentration can be guilty of a DUI. An under-21 DUI can be charged separately from the typical CA VC 23152 for DUI. With the “zero tolerance” laws any minor found guilty of driving a car with a 0.01% BAC or higher will face an automatic license suspension, fines and alcohol education classes. A BAC of 0.08% or higher for any person stopped while driving a can be charged with violating VC 23152 for misdemeanor DUI.
HOW UNDERAGE DUI IS DIFFERENT
All San Diego DUI cases involve two separate portions; the criminal court and the DMV. If you are arrested for a DUI you must request a DMV APS hearing within 10 days of the arrest. Failing to request a hearing removes an effective way to gather crucial evidence prior to formal arraignment in court. The APS hearing is conducted by the DMV safety office and a hearing officer. The rules and procedures of the hearing are very different from the normal criminal court and require know-how and experience to get the best outcome.
California Implied Consent Laws
All drivers under 21 years of age are required to submit to a breath test or preliminary alcohol screening test if they are legally stopped by the police. This means that if you are stopped by law enforcement for any reason you must submit to the officers various tests to determine if you were drunk driving. A minor under 21 who refuses to submit to the tests will have their license automatically suspended for a year and faces harsher penalties in the criminal court if convicted of a DUI. An underage DUI can have consequences for your personal and professional life. A minor DUI conviction will delay the issuance of a driver’s license by a year or more. A second underage DUI will increase the license suspension up to three years. George Gedulin is a DUI defense lawyer who understands the complex problems that come with DUI cases and works tirelessly to get his clients get the outcome they deserve.
The Judge in an underage DUI case can also order that the person not consume any alcohol until the age of 21. If you are on probation to the court and are in violation of such an order your probation could be revoked and a significant jail sentence imposed. Any minor with a BAC over 0.08% could be charged with a straight DUI (CA VC 23152) which brings a number of significant penalties. Thousands of dollars in fines, MADD and alcohol education classes. Other requirements include work release and public work service through the Sheriff and possible jail time. Having a skilled criminal defense lawyer on your case can make a big difference in your life for many years to come.
Long Term Consequences
The way that your underage DUI is handled can impact your future schooling and career. Any DUI conviction must be disclosed on school and work applications. A committed criminal lawyer can find the best defense strategy to fight a DUI case by gathering evidence early and obtaining independent reports from skilled investigators. A DUI for a minor should not mean an end to your future; these cases can always be defended with intelligent defense strategies.
Remember, the prosecution has the burden of proving their case and must present evidence which meets all legal standards. Every aspect of a DUI case must be scrutinized and questioned to ensure that the police and investigators acted properly and did not violate your constitutional rights. A police officer can only stop a vehicle if they have a specific reason, which includes violating a traffic law or suspecting the driver is drunk.