I am a high school student intern currently working for Attorney Daniel Smith at San Diego Defenders. I had a discussion with Mr. Smith and we soon realized that we constantly hear from parents of kids accused of underage drinking or possession of an open alcoholic beverage in a car. Three out of four high school seniors admit to drinking alcohol. Mr. Smith said that it’s bad enough when a person under 21 is drinking, but even worse when you are 18 years old which is the “age of majority.” If you are under 18 years old, your parents will be held responsible, and it won’t go on your permanent record. What parents and senior students graduating don’t realize is that when you are 18 the law is applied differently! Yes, it is still illegal to drink, but now, the student – YOU!- are responsible for your actions, not your parents! Many things change when you turn 18. So listen up fellow high-school students! Be careful with what you do. Everything has consequences when you turn 18. If you are ever in trouble with the law, feel free to contact us at (619) 258-8888 since you are now 18. But, you may really need your parents help, especially if you still live with your parents. For additional information and advice on A Survival Guide for Teenagers visit www.calbar.ca.gov This is Daniel Smith, and my high school student intern is absolutely correct! There is this gap between 18, when you may still be in school or college, and when you turn 21. The penalties vary and if you are driving in California, an alcoholic beverage is any beverage that contains at least one-half of 1 percent (.005 %) of alcohol. (B&PC § 23004, 25658(b), 25658.5) What if a beverage claims to be non-alcoholic, but you drink multiple, if you were to take a breathalyzer test would you pass it? Chances are that you may not and you would be drinking and driving with one of three violations. Zero tolerance, or any measurable alcohol, Driving with a BAC of .05 or greater, or driving with an open alcohol container. (VC § § 23152, 23220-23226) Open alcoholic beverage in car (B&PC § 25620). We will talk about drinking on the beach and open alcohol containers on the beaches like Mission Beach and Ocean Beach in up coming DUI Defenses.