Underage DUI

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Escondido Underage DUI Lawyer

Representing Those Under 21 Accused of Drinking and Driving in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos, and Vista

The laws concerning driving under the influence (DUI) are different for underage individuals than those for adults. An underage person is someone younger than 21 years of age. A person 21 years of age or over could be charged with a DUI for being impaired by alcohol or having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. In contrast, an individual under 21 need not be intoxicated or have an elevated BAC to face penalties. California has two laws that prohibit underage persons from operating a vehicle with even a slight amount of alcohol in their system. If the person is convicted, they can face civil penalties, including driver’s license suspension and/or a fine.

If you’re facing an underage DUI allegation in Escondido, speak with our attorney about your case. At Sterger Law Group, our clients come first. We listen to their sides of the story and their goals. Then, we examine and analyze the evidence, looking at everything from the initial encounter with the police officer to the allegations being levied. From there, we develop a strategic and innovative approach considering our client’s unique circumstances. We fight aggressively to pursue favorable outcomes.

To schedule a free initial consultation with our Escondido underage DUI lawyer, please call us at (760) 280-7900 or contact us online today.

When Can You Be Accused of an Underage DUI in CA?

California has two statutes concerning underage DUIs. California Vehicle Code § 23136, referred to as the “Zero Tolerance Law,” prohibits persons under 21 years of age from operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.01% or more. It doesn’t take much for an individual’s alcohol concentration to reach that level. Even a small amount of a beverage can get it there. 

Under Section 23136, the driver is deemed to have given their consent to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening or chemical test. Refusing or failing the test can result in the DMV suspending driving privileges for 1 to 3 years.

California’s other underage DUI law is Vehicle Code § 23140. The statute provides that it is unlawful for a person under 21 years of age to drive when they have a BAC of 0.05% or more. It’s also a violation for a driver to be under the influence or affected by alcohol, regardless of their BAC. 

If found guilty of violating Section 23140, an individual could face:

  • Driver’s license suspension for 1 year, 
  • A fine, and/or
  • A requirement to complete an alcohol education program

At Sterger Law Group, our underage DUI attorney in Escondido can help fight allegations made under either of California’s laws.

Can an Underage Drinker Be Charged with a Regular DUI?

Although California has laws specifically concerning drinking and driving among those under 21 years of age, that does not bar prosecution of these individuals under regular DUI laws. If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more when operating a vehicle, they could be charged under California Vehicle Code § 23152 and face criminal penalties.

Possible punishments for a first-time offense include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 96 hours to 6 months in jail,
  • $390 to $1,000 in fines,
  • 3 to 5 years of probation, and/or
  • 6-months driver’s license suspension.

If you’re under 21 years of age and facing charges for a regular DUI, reach out to our firm to learn how we may be able to help you.

Getting Started on Your Defense Is a Phone Call Away

Your driving privileges are at risk if you’re accused of an underage DUI. Being without your driver’s license can make it difficult to take care of everyday tasks. At Sterger Law Group, we understand what’s at stake and will work tirelessly to seek an optimal result.

Discuss your case with our Escondido underage DUI lawyer by contacting us at (760) 280-7900 today.

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