Bay Area Underage DUI

The Bay Area features a Zero Tolerance policy that results in some of the harshest punishments anywhere for Underage DUI convictions (anyone under 21 years of age caught driving under the influence). If a person under the age of 21 is caught driving with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.01% or more, he or she can be charged with a DUI. Additionally, underage drivers whose BAC is higher then 0.05% risk being charged not only with an underage DUI, but with a regular DUI as well; as a result, they could be arrested for the charge. In either situation, the statutory scheme does not set mandatory punishments below .08%, except when the underage driver is older than 18 and has a .05 or above blood alcohol concentration.

The DUI lawyers at Bair Legal handle a large number of Underage DUI cases throughout Northern California. Underage DUI arrests are more complex than other types of DUIs. With an underage DUI, it is more important than ever to have the specific facts of your case reviewed by an experienced DUI attorney. If you have been arrested for underage DUI in Northern California, contact Bair Legal to speak with an attorney who has handled many underage DUI cases.

License Suspension

Any underage driver convicted of a DUI will have their license suspended for either one year (for a first offense) or for two or three years if there are multiple violations of Vehicle code section, 23136, 23140, 23103 (pursuant to 23103.5), 23152 or 23152. Under certain circumstances, judges may order that cars be impounded or sold at the owner's expense.

In addition to having their license suspended and potentially having their car confiscated, underage drivers convicted of DUIs will face fines of at least $1,000 dollars — or even more. In addition, they may also be ordered to attend special classes for driving safety, as well as alcohol or drug abuse classes.

For the first underage DUI conviction, the driver will lose his or her license for one year. For any subsequent convictions, the penalties become considerably more severe. Any driver who chooses not to submit to chemical testing will have his or her license suspended as well, and if the driver chooses to refuse chemical testing for subsequent DUI charges within 10 years, even harsher punishments will result. The second refusal within 10 years will cause the driver to lose his or her license for two years, and any refusals to come after that result in the driver's license being revoked and/or suspended for at least three years. Although you may refuse to submit to chemical testing, it is treated in court as if there were a chemical test for purposes of punishment. The DMV has harsher punishment for refusals on multiple offenses.

Criminal Charges

As with all DUIs, underage DUIs must face two separate government actions: the DMV and the criminal court. The DMV is in charge of suspending or revoking the driver's license, and the criminal court is responsible for fining, determining jail time, and/or requiring the driver to take special classes. Occasionally, if the convicted driver is without any previous convictions and is over the age of 18, he or she may only have to attend a 12-hour class on safety and alcohol/drug abuse instead of taking longer, more expensive courses.

Also, any person convicted of an underage DUI will be obligated to report that conviction on any college or career applications, as well as applications for certain types of financial aid. While declaring the conviction does not necessarily mean the applicant will be denied entry or employment, it is required that it be reported. If the applicant chooses not to report it but is later discovered to have withheld the information, he or she risks being expelled and/or fired, as well as possible prosecution for perjury.