Drivers under the age of 21 are not supposed to have legal access to alcohol in California. Under California's Zero Tolerance policy, an under-21 driver with any amount of alcohol in the body (testing above 0.01% by blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is in violation of the law.
Under 21 drivers are also subject to more restrictive breath testing policies. While most drivers have the right to refuse to submit to a roadside breath test, drivers who are under 21 and suspected of being impaired by alcohol have to take the breath test.
The roadside breath testing device is known as a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) device. This is a handheld breath testing device that gives an estimate of the driver's BAC. However, these devices are not always reliable and can be triggered by false positives. This is one of the reasons why these tests are not mandatory for most drivers. Unfortunately, drivers under 21 and drivers on probation for a DUI cannot refuse these PAS tests. Refusing a breath test for a driver under 21 will result in a one-year license suspension.
Penalties for an Underage DUI in Pleasanton
The penalties for an under-21 DUI will depend on the specific offense, the driver's BAC, and other relevant factors.
Zero Tolerance Violation (0.01% to less than 0.05%)
A zero-tolerance violation where the driver's BAC is under 0.01% generally results in a 1-year license suspension.
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 include a one-year license suspension, a fine, and alcohol education course.
Per Se DUI (0.08% or higher)
Any driver, regardless of age, can face a per se DUI with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. The penalties for a first-offense DUI include:
- 6-month license suspension,
- DUI school, and
- Up to 6 months in jail.
Aggravating factors can increase the penalties for a driver, including having a high BAC (0.15% or higher), a DUI accident, or having a minor in the vehicle under the age of 14 at the time.
Don't Lose Your License
You only have 10 days after a DUI arrest to request a hearing to keep your license. This comes as a surprise for most people facing a first-time DUI. The license suspension process is separate from the criminal process. During an arrest, the police will generally take your license and issue a temporary driving permit. This temporary license is only good for 30 days.
However, you only have 10 days after the arrest to request a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to challenge the suspension. Talk to your California DUI lawyer about requesting a hearing and make sure your lawyer can challenge the license suspension so you can keep your driving privileges.
Other Consequences of a DUI for Young Drivers
Young drivers have additional consequences that may follow a DUI conviction. A DUI will go on your criminal record as well as your driving record. This can make it hard to get auto insurance and insurance rates may be much higher after a DUI. College and grad school applications may also ask about convictions, which could impact your chances at getting into a competitive program or getting scholarship money.
DUI Arrests and Court Appearances for Pleasanton DUIs
Drivers arrested in and around Pleasanton may be initially arrested by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) or the Pleasanton Police Department, located at:
4833 Bernal Ave
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone: (925) 931-5100
Alameda County DUI cases are heard in courts located in Fremont, Dublin , and Oakland. If you have been arrested for DUI in Pleasanton, your case will be generally be heard at the East Count of Justice at:
5151 Gleason Drive
Dublin, California 94568
5672 Stoneridge Drive
After an arrest and release from jail, drivers will generally be given a court date for when to make an initial appearance to answer to the criminal charges. If you contact a DUI defense attorney immediately, your lawyer will be able to appear on your behalf for most misdemeanor DUI charges.
If you do not have a lawyer, you will have to appear in person for your court date. If you miss the date or try and send someone else in your place, the court may issue a failure to appear (FTA), which could result in a bench warrant for your arrest.
East Bay DUI Attorney for Under-21 Drivers
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 35 years of DUI experience, and understands the consequences for young drivers after a DUI arrest. Representing young drivers in Contra Costa 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.