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Vehicle Code 23136 Zero Tolerance

California Vehicle Code Section 23136VC prohibits under-21 drivers from having any alcohol in their system. Even a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01% or higher is enough to lose your license if you are under 21. The zero-tolerance violation is not a criminal offense but it can result in a 1-year license suspension. 

Zero-tolerance is just for a BAC of 0.01% or higher up to 0.05%. If an underage driver has a BAC of 0.05% or higher, they can face criminal charges. With a BAC of 0.08% or higher, the minor driver can face a full driving under the influence (DUI) charge, just like an adult. If you are facing a zero-tolerance violation under 23136VC, contact a local East Bay DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

Vehicle Code 23136VC Text 

Under California Vehicle Code Section 23136

“it is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 years who has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or greater, as measured by a preliminary alcohol screening test or other chemical test, to drive a vehicle.”

What Are the Penalties for a Zero-Tolerance DUI?

If you are pulled over by the police and the officer believes you may have consumed alcohol and are under 21, the officer may require you to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. This is a handheld breath test, like a breathalyzer. If your BAC measures 0.01% or higher, your license may be suspended for one year. 

If your PAS shows a BAC of 0.05%, the police may also require you to submit to either a breath or blood test. If a breath or blood test shows a BAC of 0.05% or higher, the officer will issue you an order of suspension and arrest you for DUI under California Vehicle Code Section 23140

Elements of the Offense

In order for the prosecutor to get a conviction for a probation DUI, the prosecutor needs to prove every element of the case, “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If there is any doubt that even one element is not met, then the young driver should be found not guilty. 

 Under the statute, a person may be found to be in violation of a probation DUI if the person was: 

  1. Driving a vehicle,
  2. When he or she drove, the defendant was under the age of 21, and
  3. When he or she drove, the defendant had consumed an alcoholic beverage and was driving a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01% or greater. 

Can I Refuse a Preliminary Breath Test?

“Any person under the age of 21 years who drives a motor vehicle is deemed to have given his or her consent to a preliminary alcohol screening test or other chemical test for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol in the person.”

preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) device test is not mandatory for most drivers. However, submitting to a PAS is required for drivers under 21 and drivers on probation for a DUI, if lawfully detained for an alleged violation of driving with a BAC of 0.01% or higher.

Refusing a PAS test can result in a license suspension or revocation of 1 to 3 years. Even if the driver does refuse a PAS test, the driver may still be arrested and charged. Refusal does not mean that the driver will not be charged, convicted, or sentenced, just because there is not an alcohol test result. 

How Many Drinks Does it Take to Get a BAC of 0.01% or Higher?

The number of drinks that impact a driver's blood alcohol level depends on a number of factors, including weight, sex, hydration, medication, time, and type of drink. 

According to the DMV's BAC charts, the number of drinks it takes to get over the limit is based on the following “averages”:

  • 5 oz glass of wine (12% ABV)
  • 12 oz of beer (5% ABV)
  • 1.25 oz of liquor (40% ABV)

Based on the charts, 1 drink is enough to put a 240 pound man over the limit, with an estimated BAC of 0.02. Half of a can of beer may be enough to be considered a zero-tolerance violation. 

Defense Strategies for a Probation DUI in California 

Losing your license after having one beer at a party may seem extreme but some drivers may risk losing their license even if they had nothing to drink, all because of an inaccurate test result. Chemical breath and blood tests are not 100% accurate. The PAS devices are even less accurate than the machines at the police station. Your East Bay DUI defense lawyer can challenge the test results and fight to clear your name.   

Defense Lawyer for 23136VC Charges in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 35 years of DUI experience, and understands the consequences for a young driver who faces having their license taken away. Representing drivers in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws, local officers, and the prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.

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