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What Are California’s Penalties for Underage Drinking & Driving?

Posted on in DUI

San Jose Underage DUI LawyerAcross the United States, laws require anyone drinking alcohol to be 21 years of age or older. A blood alcohol content of .08% is considered drunk driving. While minors can get into trouble for having alcohol in their system or on their person anytime, they will definitely face some strong penalties if they are caught driving under the influence. California’s “zero tolerance” law states that if an under-21 driver is found to have any alcohol at all in their system, even trace amounts, then they can be charged with DUI.

What Happens After an Underage DUI Arrest?

If you are a minor, and you are pulled over or get into an accident, and then you test positive for alcohol, then your license will likely be confiscated at the scene. The incident will be reported to the DMV, and an administrative review will follow. Generally, a first DUI offense for a minor will result in a one-year license suspension. The same is true if you refused to take a chemical test at the time of the incident.

If you are charged with a second DUI offense within 10 years, your license will probably be revoked for two years. A third DUI within 10 years will net a three-year revocation. These punishments are dealt by the DMV. You will typically face additional punishments through the court.

A first DUI can get you six months in jail and three years on probation. A minor convicted of DUI will also have to go through an alcohol abuse program, for which the minor and/or his or her parents will have to pay. If you hurt, or worse, kill someone while driving drunk, you will face much higher charges, depending on the severity of the situation.

An underage drunk driving charge is not anything that should be taken lightly. In addition to your legal troubles, it is likely that your insurance rates will go up for years to come, and you will have a DUI on your permanent record. It is important to seek legal assistance in the matter.

Contact an Experienced San Jose DUI Attorney

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson are ready to help you with your underage drunk driving case. You may be able to get your charges reduced or even dropped if you have a knowledgeable Santa Clara County DUI attorney on your side. Call 408-246-3004 to schedule a free consultation today.



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