When an individual who is under the age of 18 is arrested for drinking and driving, they will often be sent to juvenile court.
If an individual who is 18 years or older is arrested for drinking and driving, they will be sent to adult court and face criminal charges and criminal punishment.
Anyone who is arrested for an underage DUI runs the risk of losing their driver's license, and the DMV is very harsh when it comes to minors who are caught drinking and driving.
In most cases, an underage individual convicted of drinking and driving will lose their license for one year with no restrictions available, and with a hardship permit being nearly impossible to obtain. California Vehicle Code 23136 defines an underage DUI charge.
The parents of an individual who has been arrested for underage drinking and driving should immediately hire an attorney.
The prosecutors in the adult court are not only going to treat an 18-year-old defendant as harshly as an adult, but may even treat them more harshly because they are so concerned about underage drinking and irresponsible drivers.
Under California's Zero Tolerance Law, underage motorists who are caught driving with BAC of .01% or more can be convicted of an infraction. A conviction carries up to $250 in fines and a minimum one-year license suspension.
Underage DUI drivers already account for most of the accidents in Los Angeles County, and when intoxication is added to the mix, it becomes an extremely dangerous problem.
An experienced attorney will provide the best chances of getting the individual out of the criminal justice system as quickly as possible.
Underage Drivers Must Submit to Breath or Blood Test
The implied consent law in California states that driving is a privilege and not a right, and in order to obtain a driver's license in California, an individual must agree to submit a breath or blood sample if the police suspect that they are driving under the influence of alcohol.
If the individual refuses to take the test, then the police should inform that person that they could lose their driver's license for one year. If an individual initially declines to take the test but ends up submitting to it, then they should not be considered to have refused.
If the individual is found to be over the legal limit, then they will be looking at a one-year license suspension.
If the police request a breath or blood sample, it is always best to comply, because failing to do so will result in a refusal on record, which is actually more serious than a regular DUI.
In addition, refusing will cause the person to lose their driver's license for one year with no opportunity to obtain a restricted license during that time.
If an individual who is under the age of 21 is caught driving a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system, then the zero-tolerance law provides that the individual will be charged with a DUI as a minor and will be prosecuted or punished accordingly, which could include criminal charges.
If you are the parent of a child who has been arrested for underage drinking and driving, you should hire an attorney immediately in order to protect your child's record and right to drive.
How Long Will a DUI Conviction Stay On My Child's Record?
In California, a conviction typically stays on someone's record for life unless they get an expungement pursuant to penal code Section 1204. An expungement is really more like a dismissal, because there is no such thing as a true expungement.
In other words, it would still be on the record after it was expunged, but it would show as a dismissed case. If a person gets a second DUI within 10 years of the first DUI, then they could be charged with a second-time DUI in Los Angeles County.
Each insurance company has different rules with regard to when they will no longer consider a DUI for the purposes of charging more money for auto insurance.
There are many things that can happen when someone who is under the age of 21 is drinking and driving.
The best bet is to hire a seasoned DUI defense attorney who knows the courts in Los Angeles County and knows how to protect a defendant's rights, reputation, and freedom.
16 Years Old Driving Under The Influence Of Marijuana
If a 16-year-old is pulled over for driving under the influence of marijuana, they could face a DUI. Despite the fact that smoking marijuana is legal in the state of California, there are certain requirements for it to be legal.
One of which precludes an individual from using marijuana before or while operating a motor vehicle, as doing so could impair their ability to safely operate the motor vehicle.
A 20-year-old individual who receives a DUI in LA County will be sent to the adult criminal court and face a full-fledged DUI which will include the loss of their license and criminal punishment.
In some of the courts in Los Angeles County, depending on the person's record, age, how they were driving, and a host of other factors, they may be able to make the argument that they were not technically over the legal limit, and they may be able to get a lesser charge of wet reckless.
However, this is very difficult to achieve for an underage defendant. There is a whole slew of charges that can be filed against an underage individual who receives a DUI in Los Angeles.
In order to understand all of the factors that will play in to the determination of the punishment, an individual will need to sit down with a DUI attorney.
When I sit down with underage drivers charged with DUI, we go over all the mitigating factors and circumstances surrounding their case, and then we prepare a game plan for the best possible result.
Underage DUI and Loss of Driver's License
If someone gets a DUI in California, the state of California can prohibit them from driving within the state of California, but cannot restrict their ability to drive in another state.
However, the state of California could alert the other state of the DUI, and the other state could choose to suspend the individual's driving privileges based on the fact that they received a DUI in California.
If an individual is unsure whether their driver's license in more than one state is at risk following a DUI, they should check with the DMV in the state where they plan on driving and ensure that they are allowed to continue to driving.
No one wants to find themselves in a position where they are unknowingly breaking the law by driving on a suspended license, as such a charge would result in mandatory jail time in Los Angeles, California.