California established a minimum drinking age of 21 in 1933, putting them well ahead of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. Because of the law regarding a minimum drinking age, California takes underage DUI very seriously. They have a “zero tolerance” policy which allows anyone under 21 to be charged with a zero tolerance violation at 0.01%. For those under 21, they can get a DUI at 0.05% or greater, facing the same penalties as an adult DUI. If there are injuries involved in an accident, those charges can quickly escalate beyond just a DUI, including DUI causing injury or gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
KTLA reports on a 15-year-old girl who was killed in a suspected DUI crash. 19-year-old Jose Zazueta was driving a 2015 BMW westbound on Rancho California. He lost control of his vehicle while navigating a curve, crossing over the double line into traffic. While traveling at speeds of at least 55 m.p.h., he hit a Toyota Corolla head-on.
The crash killed 15-year-old Lily Harrison of Murrieta. The driver of the Toyota and another passenger, both 18, were also seriously injured in the crash. After the initial collision, Zazueta’s BMW careened down a 200-foot embankment. He sustained injuries in the collision and was taken to the hospital.
Zazueta was arrested on Saturday and booked on charges of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He is due in court on Wednesday. His bail was set at $75,000.