Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is against the law in California. Most drivers 21 and older can legally purchase and consume alcohol or marijuana. However, if they drive while impaired, they may be arrested and charged with a DUI. Drivers under the age of 21 are not supposed to have legal access to alcohol and can be charged with a DUI even if they are not impaired or intoxicated.
Under California's Zero Tolerance laws, a driver under the age of 21 with any measurable amount of alcohol in the body (testing above 0.01% by blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is in violation of the law. Underage DUIs for drivers in Castro Valley can lead to a suspended license or criminal charges, depending on their BAC.
Preliminary Breath Testing for Underage Drivers
It may not seem fair, but drivers who are under 21 are subject to more restrictions than older drivers. This includes lower BAC limits and mandatory preliminary breath testing. Most drivers have the right to refuse to submit to a roadside breath test. Many drivers opt to invoke their rights because preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) device test can be so inaccurate.
Drivers who are under 21 and suspected of being impaired by alcohol have to take the preliminary breath test. If a driver under 21 refuses the PAS test, they can face a 1-year license suspension, even if they did not drink any alcohol.
Penalties for an Underage DUI in Castro Valley
The penalties for an under-21 DUI will depend on the driver's BAC, whether the driver tests positive for drugs and/or alcohol, who else was in the vehicle, and if anyone was injured in a DUI accident.
Zero Tolerance Violation (0.01% to less than 0.05%)
A zero-tolerance violation involves an under-21 driver with a BAC over 0.01% but less than 0.05%. The penalties for a zero-tolerance violation may include a 1-year license suspension. Less than one full alcoholic drink may be enough to put an individual over the zero-tolerance limit.
Under 21 DUI (0.05% to less than 0.08%)
Under California Vehicle Code 23140, it is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 to have a BAC of 0.05% or to be found to be under the influence or affected by alcohol. The penalties for an underage DUI with a BAC of 0.05% or higher but less than 0.08% include a one-year license suspension, a fine, and alcohol education course.
Per Se DUI (0.08% or higher)
Any driver with a BAC of 0.08% or higher can be charged with a per se DUI, no matter their age. A per se DUI considers a driver impaired with an over-the-limit chemical test result of 0.08% or higher, even if the driver is operating the vehicle with no problems and does not feel impaired.
The penalties for a first-offense DUI include:
- 6-month license suspension,
- DUI school, and
- Up to 6 months in jail.
There can be increased penalties for a DUI, based on aggravating factors. Aggravating factors could include having a higher BAC (0.15% or higher), a DUI injury or accident, or having a minor under the age of 14 in the vehicle.
License Suspension After a DUI Arrest
In addition to the criminal charges, drivers who are arrested for a DUI have to deal with a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), license suspension. Drivers only have 10 days after a DUI arrest to request a hearing to challenge the suspension. Talk to your East Bay DUI lawyer about requesting a DMV administrative license suspension (APS) hearing to challenge the license suspension so you can keep your driving privileges.
DUI Arrests and Court Appearances for Castro Valley DUIs
Drivers who are arrested in and around Castro Valley may have been arrested by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) or the Hayward Police Department. If a child or family member was arrested for a DUI in Castro Valley or Hayward, they may be processed or being held at:
Santa Rita Jail
5325 Broder Blvd
Dublin, CA 94568
Phone Number: (510) 690-2703
When it comes time to go to court, the accused driver's arraignment and case may be heard in one of the Alameda County courthouses in Fremont, Dublin, and Oakland. Most Castro Valley DUIs are handled at either the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland or the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin
East Bay DUI Attorney for Under-21 Drivers
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 30 years of DUI experience and understands the consequences for young drivers after a DUI arrest. Representing young drivers in Castro Valley and Alameda County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws, and the local officers and prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.