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Those who make the choice to drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol can face serious consequences if they are caught. California law enforcement has gone full force into charging those who drink and drive. DUI is a serious offense as it can cause damage and injuries to others. When a driver who is under the age of 21 chooses to drink and drive, they can expect severe consequences. If you or your child has been arrested with an under 21 DUI, it is important to speak with a San Francisco Under 21 DUI lawyer from our firm!

California DUI Laws: Zero Tolerance

California has a “zero tolerance” standard when it comes to underage drinking and driving. Under the “Zero Tolerance Law,” legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for minors is significantly lower than that which is acceptable for a driver over 21. Pursuant to California Vehicle Codes, there are three basic, actionable offenses with increasing severity of penalty for an underage driver.

As a point of reference for most, a BAC of 0.01% means drinking:

  • One 12-ounce beer
  • One 4-ounce glass of wine
  • One 1.25-ounce of liquor

As with a driver over 21, the underage driver faces two separate prosecutions: one with the DMV that can suspend or revoke their license and one with the criminal court.

In addition to these penalties, the underage driver:

  • Must list an underage DUI conviction on any college application;
  • Faces penalties with local police when caught on campus for underage drinking; and
  • Must list the DUI conviction on job applications.

Underage drivers with DUI charges need the immediate counsel of Okabe & Haushalter. Our firm understands the law and consequences to a younger driver’s education and career opportunities.

Penalties for Underage Drunk Driving

If you are under the age of 21, you can face an automatic driver’s license suspension of a year or a delay of your privilege if you do not have a driver’s license. This is a civil offense and therefore, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will enforce your penalties. If you wish to fight your license suspension, you will have to request a DMV hearing within 10 days of the arrest.

Many underage DUI cases can result in serious negative effects of the future of the minor. For those who have a BAC of 0.05% or higher, it is considered an infraction. Punishment will increase with each subsequent conviction and the BAC level. In addition to paying penalties of the zero-tolerance law, you will also be required to pay criminal penalties.

Work with Our Strong Criminal Defense Team

This is an issue that should be handled with the legal assistance of a San Francisco DUI attorney. An underage DUI is a serious situation that may damage a minor’s chance of getting a job or going to college. We are experienced in handling underage DUI cases and are prepared to help you pursue your rights. If you need assistance defending your criminal charges, it is important to speak with an attorney at once. Our lawyer has hands on trial experience as a former prosecutor for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. We offer you insight and legal knowledge.