In all states, including California, people must be 21 years of age to purchase or consume alcohol. Because of state laws, California has zero-tolerance laws for those who are under 21 and are caught driving while intoxicated by alcohol. An underage driver can face license suspension for having a BAC of 0.01% or higher. If the driver’s BAC is 0.04% or higher, they can face the same charges an adult who had a BAC of 0.08% would face. If the underage drinker is also in a car accident, the charges can quickly escalate, and the driver would face the same penalties as an adult of legal drinking age.
The Mercury News reports that an 18-year-old driver has been arrested on suspicion of DUI in a deadly accident.
The accident occurred at about 3:18 A. M. on Sunday morning along the southbound Highway 101 in Redwood City, just north of Whipple Avenue.
Police had received reports of a vehicle that had left the roadway. When emergency responders arrived, they found that a black Audi A3 had struck a pole.
The passenger in the vehicle, identified only as an 18-year-old female foreign national, was declared dead at the scene. The driver suffered from major injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Alcohol is being investigated as a factor in the accident and the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. It is likely that the driver will also face charges of DUI manslaughter.
Neither the driver nor the victim was identified.