Underage DUI in the East Bay
California has implemented a strict law regarding minors and DUI (driving under the influence) charges. The state is one of many in the country that has a policy known as “Zero Tolerance.” This Zero Tolerance policy requires the DMV to automatically suspend or revoke a minor's driving privileges after the individual has been detained and/or arrested for DUI. In this case, a “minor” is considered to be an individual under the age of 21.
The DMV must automatically suspend or revoke the minor's license whether or not the minor submitted to a breath or other chemical test resulting in a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .01% or greater. A minor has the same right to contest a DMV hearing as an adult. The request must be made within 10 days of being arrested or receiving a citation. Once the request is made, there is a "stay" of any suspension until the hearing has been held.
There are many defenses available for the under 21 driver at DMV.
According to the law in the state, a teen driver is considered to be a “Provisional Licensee.” Teens are required to follow certain regulations put in place especially for them. For example, only certain individuals may be in the vehicle with them while they are driving.
Penalties Associated Underage DUI in the East Bay
If you are a minor and are pulled over by police for DUI, you will expected to submit to a breath or other chemical test in order for the officer to determine your BAC. If this is your first DUI, your license will be suspended for one year if the officer determines that your BAC was .01% or higher, you refuse to comply with the officer's request for a breath or chemical test, or you are unable to fully complete the test. In addition to the suspension of your license, your first DUI conviction as a minor can lead to the following penalties:
- Attendance at an alcohol/drug education program
- Costly fines
Refusing to Submit to Breath or Chemical Test in California
The state of California follows an implied consent law. This law basically says that in exchange for being able to possess a California license and drive on its streets and highways, you consent to have your BAC tested when it is suspected that you may be driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
While this is the law, a driver can still refuse. However, refusing to submit to this test can lead to harsh penalties.
Meet with an Attorney
If you are a minor and have been charged with DUI or other alcohol-related offenses, it is a good idea to consult with a DUI defense attorney in the area. Lynn Gorelick has been defending clients in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties for more than 30 years. If you are seeking legal representation, do not hesitate to contact Gorelick Law Offices at (510) 785-1444 or (925) 847-3006.