There is a considerable number of DUI arrests where some of the people arrested are under 21, the legal age of drinking alcohol in California. Because drivers below 21 years are not legally permitted to take alcohol, it does not mean they don’t face the exact charges. People under 21 years arrested for DUI face additional charges than an adult driver. In short, if you are arrested for DUI in California and are underage, you will be responsible for the same penalties adult drivers face. Here are the statistics on California underage drunk driving.
California enacted a Zero Tolerance law in 1994 to mitigate the problem of drunk driving in the state. This policy on DUI is meant to protect people on the road from the risks that drunk drivers pose.
According to the law, any person driving under the influence will be arrested for a misdemeanor offense if the substance concentration is more than .08% in the system. The person will be subjected to forty-eight hours of community services or face up to 30 days in jail. Whether a minor or an adult, you might have to pay a fine of around $ 1,000.
Zero Tolerance Underage Law in California
You will be arrested for DUI if your alcohol concentration in the blood is more than 0.08%. However, this is a different case for underage. If you are under 21 years and arrested for DUI, you will face charges irrespective of the concentration. As if that is not enough, there is a threshold in California for penalties underage drunk drivers should face depending on the blood alcohol content (BAC). Here is the point.
- If a person under the legal drinking age in California is arrested with a BAC of more than 0.01%, the zero-tolerance law states that they should lose their license for at least one year. However, you will not have a DUI record or go to jail.
- You will have a DUI record if the BAC level is 0.05% and above. You will also not be jailed, but you might lose the license for a year. You will also pay a fine of $100 and attend a 3-month DUI school course.
- If the BAC level is 0.8% and above, you will face the exact charges as adults. However, you will also face additional criminal charges. It includes more than a $1,000 fine, six months in jail, court fees, license suspension, a 3-9 months DUI course, and probation.
In a worst-case scenario where the underage is impaired, the offense is severe, and they face serious charges. However, the content will be treated the same as the 0.08% level, but you might face additional charges if you have caused further problems.
Unfortunately, because this is a zero-tolerance law, you might face three charges if your BAC content is 0.08% or above. You will have violated the 0.01% rule, 0.05% rule, and the 0.08%.
California is a zero-tolerance state for drunk driving, especially among people under 21. The repercussions of underage DUI are severe and amount to years in jail, license suspension, hefty fines, and more. Therefore, if you are underage and arrested for DUI, you are in big trouble, so you should hire a DUI lawyer to help you.