California has a “zero tolerance” policy toward drunk driving from (a) drivers under 21 and (b) drivers currently on probation for a previous DUI.
California is strict on drunk driving. Penalties for all types of DUI are severe, but for some types of drivers, the state has a “Zero Tolerance” policy. This means that the very definition of a DUI is stricter for these drivers. The two groups affected by Zero Tolerance policies are:
- Drivers under the age of 21
- Drivers already on probation for a previous DUI
If you fall into either of these groups, be aware that California will not allow you to drive with “any measurable amount” of alcohol or drugs in your system. What counts as a measurable amount is different for the two groups.
For drivers under 21, it means that any alcohol at all—a BAC of .01% or more—counts as a DUI. This is dramatically stricter than the normal limit of .08%. It means that even a sip of beer or wine could get you arrested for DUI. (Underage drivers also face a staggering variety of penalties for other BAC thresholds. Learn more here.)
For drivers on DUI probation, it means that a BAC of .04% or greater counts as a DUI. One drink can easily put an adult’s BAC over .04%. In addition to DUI charges you will also face penalties for a DUI probation violation.
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