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Being stopped, contacted by an officer, suspected of being DUI, put through a full investigation, and be arrested for DUI when you are under 21 carries different penalties. Rather than the usual charges that someone over 21 faces (VC 23152a & VC 23152b), those under 21 who are arrested for DUI can be charged with additional offenses. Below is a list of all offenses a driver arrested for DUI & under the age of 21 can face.

California Vehicle Code Section 23136

Under this section of the California Vehicle Code, it is illegal for a person under 21 years of age to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 or higher. If the underage driver is determined to have a BAC of .01 or higher, the DUI officer will take away their driver’s license and provide him/her with a pink slip entitled “notice of suspension and temporary driver’s license.” Again, the procedure is the same as in adult cases, the ten (10) day rule for reserving a hearing through the DMV goes into effect. If the DMV hearing is lost, his/her driver’s license will be suspended for one year. If the DMV hearing is won, the license will be reinstated. The lawyers at WILL & WILL, LLP regularly handle many underage DUI cases. In these cases, it is important to bring an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on immediately to handle your DMV case as well as your criminal case in court.

California Vehicle Code Section 23140


Under this section of the California Vehicle Code, it is an infraction for a person under 21 to drive with a BAC of .05 or higher. If the underage driver is convicted of this section, he/she may be required to attend an alcohol education/rehabilitation program for young offenders. The prosecution may also elect to charge the underage driver with the same DUI charges as an adult (see below). Again, DUI officer will take away their driver’s license and provide him/her with a pink slip entitled “notice of suspension and temporary driver’s license.” Again, the procedure is the same as in adult cases, the ten (10) day rule for reserving a hearing through the DMV goes into effect. If the DMV hearing is lost, his/her driver’s license will be suspended for one year. If the DMV hearing is won, the license will be reinstated. The lawyers at WILL & WILL, LLP regularly handle many underage DUI cases. In these cases, it is important to bring an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on immediately to handle your DMV case as well as your criminal case in court.

California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) & 23152(b)

Under these sections of the California Vehicle Code, if the underage driver appears to be under the influence, or a breath or blood test indicates a BAC of .08 or higher, then he will likely be charged with the adult misdemeanor crime of DUI and/or DUI with .08% BAC or greater. If convicted, the court imposes on the minor the same DUI/drunk driving penalties that it does on an adult: probation, fines, an alcohol education program, and possibly jail time, labor, community service, or home confinement.

It is important to contact our lawyers at WILL & WILL, LLP to help you or your child. We regularly handle many underage DUI cases. You need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on immediately to handle your DMV case as well as your criminal case in court.

Other Possible Charges

If the underage driver has been involved in an accident causing injury or death to another person, he/she may be subject to the same DUI-injury, vehicular manslaughter, or DUI-murder charges as an adult. Please see those sections of our website if this applies to you or your child.

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