Featured News 2016 Zero Tolerance for Underage Drivers

Zero Tolerance for Underage Drivers

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a problem that plagues drivers of all ages, however, it's an even bigger problem for teens and young adults. Teens tend to binge drink, and they have less experience driving and drinking alcohol.

When you add it all up, teens are at a greater risk of being in a DUI accident than adults, and law enforcement agencies nationwide have taken notice. That said, the DUI rules are different for teens and young adults under 21.

Now all states have enacted "zero tolerance" laws that make it illegal for someone under the age of 21 to drink and drive with any alcohol in their system. The state laws have established maximum blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits that do not exceed .02%.

Young Drivers Cannot Drink and Drive, Period

Drivers 21 and older cannot drink and drive with a BAC of .08% or more, but for young drivers, the states have "zero tolerance" for drinking and driving. As a general rule, if a young driver is caught with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system, their driver's license will be automatically suspended.

How California Punishes Underage DUI

In California for example, it's illegal for someone under 21 to drink and drive with a BAC of .01% or higher. The penalties for an underage DUI in California depend on the young driver's BAC level.

For instance, under VC 23163, if a young driver's BAC is .01%, but less than .05%, their license will be suspended for one year. But under VC 23152(b), if the young driver has a BAC of .05%, but less than .08%, they face up to 5 years of probation, license suspension, up to 6 months in jail, and DUI School. If their BAC was .08% or above, the young driver faces the same DUI penalties as someone 21 or older.

Facing underage DUI charges? Contact a DUI defense attorney to protect your rights!

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