California prosecutions charges for driving under the influence (DUI) very harshly. What happens if you’re under 21 and get a DUI? You can face criminal charges in this event. A conviction can lead to the suspension of your driver’s license and other penalties.
An under 21 DUI also stays on your driving record. This kind of DUI can impact you if you face subsequent DUI charges in Los Angeles. Find out more about under 21 DUI charges with this article.
California’s “Zero Tolerance” Law for Under 21 DUIs
You should know that California has a “zero tolerance” law for drivers under 21 who drink alcohol and drive a vehicle. This means that drivers under 21 cannot drink any alcohol before they drive. This law is covered under Vehicle Code (VEH) §23136.
Drivers face VEH §23136 charges if they operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above 0.01%. A single drink of alcohol can lead to a 0.01% BAC. A VEH §23136 conviction can lead to a one-year driver’s license suspension. However, this charge does not generally lead to fines or jail time.
Other DUI Charges for Drivers Under 21
VEH §23136 is not the only charge used to handle under 21 DUIs in the state of California. The state uses Vehicle Code § 23140 to handle some other under 21 DUIs. VEH §23140 charges apply if a driver is under 21 with a BAC over 0.05%.
VEH §23140 convictions lead to additional penalties in California. Drivers convicted under VEH §23140 can face:
- Fines of up to $100
- Entry into an alcohol treatment program
- A one-year driver’s license suspension
A Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you handle under 21 DUI charges. Start getting information about traffic violations right now by calling (310) 896-2724. Our team is standing by to begin providing you with legal answers.
“General” DUI Charges in Los Angeles
Thus far, we have discussed charges used specifically for drivers under the age of 21 who drink alcohol and operate a vehicle. However, these are not the only charges used for DUIs in our state. Drivers under 21 can face “general” or “adult” charges for a DUI, as well.
The court can use adult DUI charges if a driver’s BAC is over 0.08%. The state of California uses 0.08% as a standard BAC limit for most drivers. Drivers with a BAC at or above 0.08% can face charges under Vehicle Code § 23152(a). VEH §23152(a) is a very serious criminal charge. Drivers convicted of this offense can face:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to six months
- Time in an alcohol education program
Note that drivers over 21 can install an ignition interlock device (IID) after a DUI conviction. This allows them to obtain an IID-restricted license. These drivers can continue to operate their vehicles even after a DUI conviction.
However, the IID program is not available to drivers under 21 in California. Under 21 drivers convicted of a DUI still deal with a license suspension. This holds true even if they are facing “adult” DUI charges here in Los Angeles.
DUI Charges and Your Driving Record in California
As we mentioned, DUI convictions stay on your record here in California. These charges are considered “priorable.” Priorable charges work against you if you are accused of a subsequent DUI. For example, let’s say that you have a VEH §23152(a) conviction on your record. You are convicted of a second VEH §23152(a) violation within 10 years. You could face:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- Jail time of up to one year
As you can see, the penalties increase for a subsequent DUI conviction. The penalties continue to rise if you are accused of additional DUIs in a 10-year period. DUI convictions can also have other effects on your life here in Los Angeles.
For example, many drivers find their auto insurance rates going up after a DUI conviction. We are here to help you handle under 21 DUI charges. Find out more about your legal options to deal with these accusations by contacting us now.
Speak to a Lawyer if You’re Under 21 and Get a DUI
So, what happens if you get a DUI while you’re under 21 in California? You can face the suspension of your driver’s license. You can also face fines and jail time.
Fortunately, a Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you handle these charges. We’re ready to build a defense for you when you complete our online contact form or when call us at (310) 896-2724.
Find out how to get the legal help you need with a free consultation.