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Underage DUI


Underage DUI in California features a Zero Tolerance policy that results in some of the harshest punishments anywhere for 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. Also, underage drivers whose BAC is higher then 0.05% also risk being charged not only with an underage DUI, but with a regular DUI as well and, as a result, 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 Kapsack & Bair handle a large number of Underage DUI cases throughout Northern California. Underage DUI arrests have extra complexities than other types of DUI. With an under age 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 Kapsack & Bair to speak with an attorney who has handled a number of under age DUI cases.

Any underage driver who is convicted of a DUI will have their license suspended either for one year for a first offense, or 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 cars impounded or sold at the owners 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 a thousand dollars or even more. Plus, they may 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, and for any subsequent convictions, the penalties become considerably more severe. Also, any driver who chooses not to submit to chemical testing has his or her license suspended as well, and if the driver chooses to refuse chemical testing for subsequent DUI charges within ten years, then even more harsh punishments will result. The second refusal within ten years causes 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. While it is a person may refuse to submit to chemical testing, it's it is treated as if there was a chemical test for purposes of court punishment and the DMV has more harsh punishment for refusals on multiple offenses.

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 fining, determining jail time, and 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 longer, more expensive courses.

Also, any persons 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 it later discovered for withholding information, he or she risks being expelled and/or fired and possible prosecution for perjury.






Local DUI Offices
Alameda County (510) 434-1400
San Francisco & Marin (415) 421-1021
Santa Clara County (408) 275-9610
Sacramento Area (916) 930-1967
Contra Costa County (925) 827-5834
San Mateo County (650) 216-9698
Lake Tahoe (530) 546-6051
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