In California, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume any alcohol. When an underage person gets accused of DUI, the consequences can be serious and can affect their future in many different way.
California has a *Zero Tolerance* law when it comes to underage drinking and driving. For drivers age 21 and older, the law presumes they committed a DUI if they had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent. For underage drivers, however, the presumed legal limit is only 0.01 percent. One drink will certainly put a driver well over a 0.01 BAC, and for all intents and purposes, this legal limit means underage drivers cannot have any amount of alcohol and drive a vehicle.
When a minor has a BAC under 0.05 percent, authorities can cite them with a civil infraction. A conviction will result in a license suspension or delay in receiving a driver*s license. If an underage driver has a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 percent, they can face escalated charges under the law. A conviction for a first offense over 0.05 BAC will result in a one-year license suspension, a $100 fine plus penalty assessments, and mandatory participation in an alcohol education program. If an underage driver has a BAC over 0.08 percent, they can face the same serious DUI charges and penalties as defendants over age 21. This can include jail time, extensive fines, license suspension, probation, and more.
Additional Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Underage individuals can face a wide range of lasting consequences for a DUI conviction in addition to fines, jail time, and other aspects of a court-ordered sentence. Having a DUI conviction on your record can have many collateral consequences that can impede future opportunities, including:
* Educational programs may not accept applicants with any criminal background
* You may lose eligibility for collegiate sports, scholarships, or financial aid
* It may be more difficult to obtain certain professional licenses
* You may be ineligible for jobs that require a clean driving record or criminal record
* Your insurance rates may substantially increase for years to come
* Non-citizens may face immigration consequences, including deportation proceedings
During a DUI case, your focus may be on the possibility of jail time. However, a DUI conviction can have lasting effects on your finances, education, career, and reputation. It is critical that you have the right defense attorney on your side who knows how to fight against these charges.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.