The Zero Tolerance Law says that anyone under the age of 21 found driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01% or greater qualifies to be charged for underage DUI. However, if the same count goes up to 0.05% or more, then along with the underage, a regular DUI can also be charged and an arrest can be carried out. In 2010, California saw 94 under-21 alcohol impaired fatalities1, such fatalities being 0.9 per 100k people in a state with population over of 37 million!
The fines and punishment for underage DUI in California are heavy due to the zero tolerance law which cannot be escaped. But, they can be reduced or innocence (if wrongly charged) can be proven with the help of a Ventura DUI lawyer.
Penalties and Punishments
All DUI convictions lead to license suspension for a year. An underage driver cannot refuse to take tests. On doing so, he or she will lose their license for a year. Subsequent refusals to chemical testing will keep adding a year to the suspension. Depending on the extent and county, the fine may run into the thousands of dollars, on top of which there will be mandatory rehabilitation or driving class. To regain the license post the suspension, proof of financial responsibility will have to be submitted. If collateral damage was involved, jail time might be inevitable.
The punishments of underage DUI go beyond money and law. College applications need a mention of any such case if they exist. Applications or worse, scholarship can be refused or withdrawn on account of a DUI conviction. Moreover, any petty underage drinking will be reported directly to the police henceforth by the college authorities.
What can your DUI attorney do?
A Ventura DUI attorney can make a huge difference especially if you or your child was innocent. The grounds over which the offensive BAC was recorded could be challenged as medical conditions, obesity, special circumstances like usage of mouthwash or undue influence of friends, discrepancies in the breathalyzer can distort the real BAC measure.
If really guilty, a good attorney can plead for reducing punishment by outlining your potential for a bright future and the negligence of the alcohol vendor to allow underage binge drinking. Even the people who manufacture fake licenses for underage kids can be held responsible, meanwhile serving the greater good of reducing such a common con on the streets.
Prevention is always better than hoping for a cure, but if the zero tolerance law is coming down heavily on you, then it’s time to consult with your Ventura DUI lawyer to know your best case scenario and protect your future by doing the right things at the right time.