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California Underage DUI Lawyer – Vehicle Code 23140 VC

Hire An Underage DUI Attorney To Minimize DUI Under 21 Consequences

The time when teenagers come of age and qualify for the privilege of driving is probably the most significant source of anxiety for parents. Motor vehicle fatality is the leading cause of teenagers’ deaths, representing over one-third of all teenager deaths every year. In line with having the stiffest DUI penalties in the country, California has a zero-tolerance policy for under 21 drinking and driving. To help discourage this practice, California law imposes specific penalties for underage drivers convicted of driving under the influence—DUI.

If your teenage child has been accused of drinking and driving, The DUI Lawyers at My Rights Law understand the tremendous stress this can cause. No parent wants a child to have a criminal record as a teenager, especially based on a DUI driving under the influence charge.

If your teen child is stopped by law enforcement on the road in California as a driver under 21 years, they may be subject to criminal charges and penalties if any alcohol is found in their system. It is crucial to consult with My Rights Law as soon as possible if the State of California has arrested your teen for drunk driving. We have the competence and experience to fight for your child. My Rights Law are committed to providing our clients with everything they need to get through this difficult time.

For a free consultation about the details of your case, contact an underage DUI lawyer at My Rights Law immediately at (888) 702-8882 or through our secure web form.

Underage DUI Law: California’s Zero Tolerance Policy

California’s public policy related to underage drinking and driving is based on zero tolerance. The Zero Tolerance Law prohibits anyone under 21 years of age (the legal drinking age) from driving with a blood alcohol concentration—BAC—of .01% or higher.[1] Under this law, on a first offense, driving privileges will be suspended for one year if the young driver:

  • has a BAC of .01% or higher; or
  • refuses to take the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test; or
  • fails to complete the PAS test.

As you can see, you could face a charge even if you are not drunk driving.

Teenagers Are Provisional Licensees

In tandem with California’s Zero Tolerance Law is the classification of underage drivers as provisional licensees.[2] This licensing classification is reserved for underage drivers who must follow all applicable provisions when operating a motor vehicle in California. These provisions include those persons who may ride with them as passengers and the times of the day that they are legally permitted to drive.

Civil And Criminal Penalties

Because of California’s zero-tolerance policy, underage drivers are subject to special civil and criminal penalties. This includes an automatic license suspension for driving with even a trace of alcohol in their blood.

License Suspension

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is required by California law to suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any individual under age 21 who was detained or arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, who:

  • Takes a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test, or a chemical test (blood or breath test) with a BAC level of 0.01% or more, or
  • Refuses to take, or fails to complete, a PAS or other chemical test.

The California DMV’s suspension or revocation of a license is independent of any other DMV adverse action or any jail, fine, or other criminal penalty imposed in court if a teenager was convicted of a DUI offense.

Fighting The License Suspension

You have just ten days from receipt of the Suspension/Revocation Order to request a hearing to show that the suspension/revocation is not justified. My Rights Law –  Criminal & DUI Attorneys can contact the DMV on behalf of your teenager and request a stay of the suspension and a hearing.

Before the hearing, on your request, an underage driver or their attorney is entitled to see and get copies of the DMV’s evidence in support of the facts that gave rise to the suspension. We can investigate for any technical defects in your underage driver’s case. We can attack any conditions that may have caused a false BAC reading.

Criminal Laws

California’s two major laws directed at underage driving under the influence are the following:

California Vehicle Code 23136 VC is a civil, not a criminal, offense. Thus, it is possible to be convicted of both California Vehicle Code § 23140 and cited for California Vehicle Code § 23136. Both DUI laws apply to juvenile California drivers under 21 years of age, and both can result in a one-year suspension of an underage driver’s license.

Also, remember that these laws can apply if the driver’s driving is not truly impaired by alcohol. An underage driver violates these laws simply by driving with the applicable blood alcohol concentration.

Juveniles who have a BAC of .08 or higher may also be charged with violating the following California laws:

  • driving while under the influence of alcohol, and
  • driving with a BAC of .08 or higher, and
  • driving under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug.

If the underage driver causes death or bodily injury, they may also be charged with violating California Vehicle criminal laws.

Under Age DUI Penalties

For a first-time offender, a violation of California Vehicle Code § 23152 may result in:

  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Three to five years misdemeanor probation
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Mandatory enrollment in an alcohol education program
  • Six months in county jail

Violation of California Vehicle Code § 23136 and § 23140 may result in a one-year driver’s license suspension, [3] a $100 fine[4], and mandatory enrollment in an alcohol education program.[5]

Fighting the Criminal Penalties

The following are some of the many defenses that underage drivers may raise to fight DUI charges in California:

  • No probable cause for the traffic stop or DUI arrest
  • Law enforcement failed to clearly and completely advise the underage driver of their rights
  • Alcohol was present in the underage driver’s mouth from another source
  • The underage driver had rising BAC levels at the time of the DUI test, but these BAC levels were lower when driving
  • The underage driver did not drive or operate the motor vehicle
  • The person who administered the BAC test did not follow proper test procedures
  • The DUI testing equipment did not operate properly
  • Results of the BAC test were within the margin of error for acceptable BAC results
  • The underage driver’s dietary habits or medical condition may have caused the BAC test to reach a misleading result

My Rights Law can begin plea bargaining at any point in the timeline of a DUI case after the prosecution files charges. We will work hard to discover any evidence that exonerates you. As the prosecutor must prove all charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt, we will use the evidence to create the reasonable doubt necessary to establish your innocence. Ultimately, we will use this evidence to get the case dismissed or charges reduced.

Related Charge: Boating under the influence

Experienced Underage DUI Attorney

If you are under 21 and caught drunk driving, a conviction for violating California’s underage DUI law remains on a teenager’s permanent criminal record. Potential employers and colleges have access to this record when making any background check. You must list the conviction on an employment application if asked, which may have adverse effects far into the future.

My Rights Law have successfully defended countless underage drivers on DUI charges. We have vast experience with the California court system and how it works, especially the procedure for fighting an underage DUI offense in Los Angeles County and elsewhere in the state.

My Rights Law will protect your teen’s valuable legal rights. We can rep­re­sent your teen at the DMV Hearing and try to pre­vent the State of California from suspending their driver’s license. We will work to help your teenager achieve the best possible result in a DUI case so that as few adverse effects as possible interfere with their life in the future. We can help your teen. Contact us today for a no-obligation strategy session FREE!

For a free consultation about the details of your underage DUI charges, contact the experienced attorneys at My Rights Law immediately by filling out our secure web form or call us at (888) 702-8882.

[1] Vehicle Code 23136
[2] Vehicle Code 12814.6
[3] Vehicle Code 13352.6
[4] Vehicle Code 42001(a)(1)
[5] Vehicle Code 13352.6

You Only Have 10 Days to Take Action!

(888) 702-8882