Consequences of an Underage DUI By Daniel Smith

Underage DUI’s can affect the possibility of getting into the college of your choice, keeping your scholarship, receiving the internship you want or eventually the job you hope to get.

An underage DUI can be charged in several various ways. First if you are underage and have a blood alcohol level of 0.01% or greater you can be charged with a violation of California Vehicle Code 23136-a civil violation. Secondly, if you are underage and have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05% you can be charged with a violation of California Vehicle Code 23140-an infraction. Thirdly, if you have a blood alcohol level 0.08% or greater, you can be charged with a violation of Vehicle Code 23152-a misdemeanor. Finally, the prosecutor can decide whether to charge you with all or one of these violations of the California Vehicle Code is they apply.

California Vehicle Code 23136 VC: California’s Zero Tolerance Law -- A Civil Offense

Pursuant to California VC 23136 there is zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. Unlike a regular DUI, there is no “legal limit” of blood alcohol concentration. Furthermore, This law declares that if you are under 21 and suspected of DUI, you are deemed to have consented to (1) a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, or (2) any other blood, breath or urine test to determine your BAC. Any indication of alcohol in your system will result in penalties from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Penalties of violation of CA VC 23136 include:

If you submit to a chemical test and your BAC is 0.01% or greater, you face

  • An automatic one-year driver’s license suspension, or
  • A one-year delay of your driving privilege if you don’t yet have a California driver’s license;
  • A fine
    If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you face
  • A one- to three-year suspension, depending on how many prior convictions you have under this California zero tolerance law

California Vehicle Code 23140 VC: Under 21 DUI with a BAC of 0.05% - 0.07% -- An Infraction

If you’re under 21 and drive with a BAC of 0.05% - 0.07%, you face a misdemeanor charge under California 23140 VC. Because this offense is an infraction (not a misdemeanor or a felony), there is no jail or prison sentence.

Penalties of a violation of VC 23140

  • A first conviction carries a $100 penalty;
  • A second conviction within a one-year period carries a $200 penalty, and court costs;
  • A third conviction within one year carries a $300 penalty;
  • Additionally lose your California driver’s license for one-year,
  • Attend and complete a minimum three-month alcohol program before your license can be reinstated, and
  • Possibly be ordered to participate in a “Youthful Drunk Driving Visitation Program”. Participation in this program includes a visit to an
  • E.R., the coroner’s office, or a chemical dependency recovery center to observe Victims of DUI accidents, or People in the terminal stages of alcoholism or drug abuse.
  • The judge will also order you to abstain
    • From drinking any alcohol until you are 21, and
    • From using any illegal drugs.

California Vehicle Code 23152 VC: Driving Under the Influence -- A Misdemeanor

A violation of California VC 23152 takes place when an underage person has a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or more. If you are convicted of a violation of VC 23152 you may also be convicted and violated for California Vehicle Code 23140 and California Vehicle Code 23136.

Possible penalties of a violation of CA VC 23152

  • Three to five years of informal probation,
  • Over $2,000 in fines and court fees,
  • Up to one year in a county jail,
  • A mandatory court-approved alcohol class, and
  • A six-month driver’s license suspension

If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DUI and would like to speak with one of our experienced attorneys, please call our office at (619)258-8888.