Skip to main content

California Under 21 Laws

Posted by attorney Randy Collins


DUI for Minors under 21 under California Penal Code Section 23140, is an infraction if the driver is caught with less than 0.08% alcohol intoxication levels in the blood. Anything higher than this number and the minor will face the same penalties that are dished out to adults. Furthermore, because California has zero tolerance policies regarding minor drinking, the offender will face a mandatory one year suspension of their driver’s license.

Elements of the Crime

In order to take a DUI for Minors under 21 CPC 23140 case to trial, certain elements of the crime will have to be proven. This includes that one of the following occurred:

  • This individual was under the age of 21
  • This individual was drinking alcoholic beverages or abusing drugs
  • This individual got behind the wheels of a vehicle

Punishments for CPC 23140

These penalties are to be determined by a judge and he/she will make a decision based on the circumstances surrounding the case.

When found guilty of DUI for Minors under 21, it is usually filed as either an infraction, which includes:

1st time underage drinkers who drive are fined $100. The second arrest increases this fine to $200, and third offense penalties are $300. These penalties apply to offenders with a blood alcohol count of between 0.05-0.07 percent. As stated earlier, underage dui offenders also face the very same sentencing if the BAC levels are 0.08 percent or greater. What’s the sentence? Here goes:

Underage drinkers and drivers face up to one year in jail and up to one thousand dollars in fines. License suspension can go to a maximum of six months, and also drivers will be required to participate in DUI School as well as holding a probation that can last up to five years.

Legal Defenses for California Penal Code 23140

A good lawyer can present many legal and valid defenses for DUI for Minors under 21 charges under California Penal Code 23140. Some of these defenses include illness, being duped into drinking alcohol while not being aware of this, as well as other top defenses. MacGregor and Collins is based in California, and has successfully defended those who were falsely accused of DUI – including minors. Call (949) 250-6097 to speak to a lawyer, should you be on trial for DUI for Minors under 21.

Learn more about other California Section Penal Codes here.

Author of this guide:

Was this guide helpful?

Avvo DUI email series

Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.

Recommended articles about DUI

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer