It is a crime in California to drive under the influence of drugs and/ or alcohol. A driver can be prosecuted and penalized for the crime in a variety of ways. One way is by focusing on the following elements when deciding when to file charges:
• Driver’s criminal history.
• The circumstances regarding the DUI arrest.
Based on the above factors, prosecutors will charge people with the offense that seems appropriate. However, there are exceptions. One exception involves drivers under the age of 21.
California has Zero Tolerance
The state enforces a strict zero tolerance for anyone who drives and is under 21 years old. The legal age in the country is 21 years old. This means that no one under the age of 21 years old can drive with alcohol in his or her system. What does zero tolerance means? It means that anyone under age with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or higher will most likely be charged with DUI.
DUI Penalties for Underage Drivers
California has other laws devoted to penalizing under aged drivers who are charged with DUI. For instance, there is a driver’s license suspension for any under aged driver with a DUI. Unfortunately, many under aged drivers with a DUI have their licenses suspended for a minimum of one year. The license suspension for underage drivers typically include:
• A suspended license for one year for any underage driver with a 0.01 percent BAC or higher.
• A suspended license for one year for any underage driver who refuses to take a chemical test. This is for a first offense.
• A revoked license for two years for a second chemical test refusal. This is for a second offense in a 10-year period.
• A revoked license for three years for a third chemical test refusal. This is for a third offense in a 10-year period.
A 10-year period refers to separate offenses. It does not mean repeated refusals during the same traffic stop.
Driver’s license suspensions and criminal charges can be challenged with the help of a DUI attorney. If you are under 21 years old and facing a DUI charge, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin. If your son or daughter is charged with DUI, please contact us. We know and understand how to challenge an under age DUI case. We will aggressively fight in an effort to get the charges reduced or dismissed.