Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking and Driving
California has a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. California's underage DUI laws are among the toughest in the nation, as an Orange County DUI zero tolerance lawyer understands. Anyone under 21 caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of any measurable amount (any level above 0.01%), may be charged with violation of California's Zero Tolerance Law. All under age DUI convictions will lead to a suspension of the driver's license for one year.
As with all driving under the influence laws in California, underage DUI's are subject to both the court and the DMV administrative procedures. The court imposes fines, jail time (on more serious charges), and requirements that the driver takes alcohol and/or drug awareness classes. The DMV acts to suspend or revoke the driver's license to drive.
An underage driver with a BAC of .01-0.5% may be charged with a traffic infraction. The penalties for this infraction include court-ordered fines and a DMV "Administrative Per Se" driver license suspension for one year. If the underage driver is not yet licensed to drive, being charged under the zero tolerance law will result in a one-year or more delay in the right to apply for a driver license. Thus, an underage driver with just a small amount of alcohol in his or her blood can lose the right to drive for a year. There are various factors that affect BAC (primarily the person's weight), but normally a BAC of .01-.05% results when the person has had very little to drink (less than one beer, for example).
If the under 21 driver is over the age of 18 and charged with a violation driving with a BAC of 0.05% - 0.07%,, not only will he or she face the consequences of court-ordered fines and a DMV-ordered one-year suspension of driving privileges, but the court will also order the driver to attend driving under the influence-awareness programs and/or classes. Even after the driver license suspension period has completed, the driver license will not be restored until the driver provides poof to the court that he or she has satisfactorily completed the classes or programs as ordered by the court.
Any underage driver convicted on subsequent zero tolerance offense faces higher fines, longer driver license suspensions, and more intensive awareness classes and/or programs. A DUI zero tolerance attorney in Orange County can help you try to avoid or minimize these consequences.
If convicted of both Underage DUI and Misdemeanor DUI, you may be facing the same punishments as a first-time California DUI conviction. The penalties vary depending upon the facts of your case and your criminal history.
The sentencing possibilities are:
- 3 to 5 years of informal probation;
- $390 to $1,000.00 in fines;
- Up to one year in a county jail, and
- A mandatory court-approved alcohol class and a six-month driver's license suspension.
A person under the age of 18 who is charged with a zero tolerance or zero tolerance and DUI violation will first appear before the juvenile court. In most cases, unless the juvenile is older and charged with a serious DUI offense, the juvenile court will adjudicate the matter. A person over the age of 18 will appear before the adult court.
Orange County DUI zero tolerance attorney William Weinberg limits his practice to criminal and juvenile law has experience in all facets of the DUI and Juvenile defense. Whether the driver charged under the zero tolerance laws is under or over 18 years of age, Mr. Weinberg is an expert in defending zero tolerance charges.
If your juvenile son or daughter has been charged with Underage DUI, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney. The rules are different in juvenile court than they are in adult court. At the first hearing and if the charges are serious, the court will decide whether your child will go home with you or whether he or she will stay in custody until the next court date. Having an experienced juvenile defense attorney at the first court hearing may make the difference.
Contact Mr. Weinberg at any time to set up a confidential consultation with a DUI zero tolerance lawyer in Orange County without charge. He will work with you and your family to setup a fee structure that best suits your circumstances.