For underage drinkers who are found driving a motor vehicle, the DUI convictions and punishments are more severe to limit the habit of repeat perpetrators. As with drivers over the age of 21, underage drinkers who are caught driving still face some type of criminal and DMV charges; however, the main difference is the severity of the ramifications for both. Since California has a Zero-Tolerance Policy, any minor who has had even one drink will be taken in for a DUI violation which may result in a misdemeanor, infraction or a civil offense. It will be complicated for most lawyers to deal with the DMV sanctions placed on a minor, but it helps to hire an attorney to reduce the criminal charges a driver may face.
In California, any minor seen with a.01% of alcohol or greater will be subjected to a one-year suspension on his license for a first violation, but a motorist could face a longer suspension as well. If a driver declines to take an examination to see the BAC levels, the DMV can subject a minor to a one-to-three year license suspension for refusing to comply. Even if a driver does not have his license and is caught drinking and driving, he could face a one-year delay from getting his license. As with other DUI arrests, a motorist arrested will have to schedule a Per se hearing within ten days of his arrest to combat the charges, but in order to schedule and attend a meeting, an Orange County DUI lawyer must be present.
Fines and Punishments
Any minor arrested for a DUI will get consequences other than the license suspensions, which include fines, alcohol abuse classes and even promising to abstain from using drugs or alcohol. For a first-time perpetrator, an automatic one-year suspension will be placed on his license as well as a $100 fine; while a second-time conviction will yield a $200 fine and a $300 fine will be issued for a third charge.
Minors will also have to go to a three-month long alcohol course before a license can be reinstated, and most will also have to sign up for an additional youth drunk driving seminar. If a minor must go to a youth drunk driving program, he will have to sign up for either a coroner’s office, recovery center, or E.R. to witness first-hand the victims of a DUI or individuals suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Of course, a strategic Laguna Beach DUI attorney may be able to get you out of attending a youth drunk driving program; however, your previous history will decide if the judge allows this or not.