California has a “zero tolerance” rule for drivers under the age of 21. This means that if you are under the age of 21 and you have a blood alcohol level of .01% or more you can be charged with a DUI under Vehicle Code 23136. Although this offense is not charged as a misdemeanor, the penalty for this offense is the suspension of your driver’s license for one year by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Drivers who are under 21 years of age and have a blood alcohol level of .05% or more will be penalized under Vehicle Code 23140, and will not face jail time since this offense is an infraction, however they will be subjected to a one year suspension of their driver’s license, some fines and mandatory participation in alcohol education programs.
Drivers of any age who have a blood alcohol level of .08% or more will be subjected to the penalties of Vehicle Code 23152/ 23153.
For under age drivers, the loss of their license for one year can be devastating. In some cases the driver may be eligible to apply for a critical need to drive application which would allow the underage driver to drive to school and to work. It is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in DUI cases. Contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Ali Komaili if you have been charged with a DUI or any other criminal matter in Orange County.