California hands out some of the strictest fines for drivers found under the influence, and the charges are worse for drivers under the age of 21. Most of the consequences for an underage driver will appear similar to that of a driver over the legal drinking age, but for minors, the length of those charges is increased and could mean longer restrictions and alcohol abuse programs. California has a Zero-Tolerance Policy, and even one alcoholic beverage a minor has drunk will automatically get him arrested for a DUI and result in either a misdemeanor, infraction or civil offense. Minors will have a harder time locating an attorney who can minimize the DMV sanctions, but most attorneys will be able to lower the criminal charges motorists may face.
In California, any minor found with a .01% of alcohol or greater will be subjected to a one-year suspension on his license for a first offense, but a motorist could face a longer suspension as well. The suspension for turning down a breathalyzer, urine or blood test holds an even bigger suspension, and the DMV can suspend a minor’s license for up to 3 years. Even if a motorist does not have his license and is apprehended for drinking and driving, he could face a one-year delay from receiving his license. If apprehended for a DUI, a minor will also have to petition for a Per se hearing ten days after his arrest to try to deal with the charges, but an individual will need either a Los Angeles or Orange County DUI lawyer present at the meeting.
Fines and Punishments
As if the license suspensions were not enough, all minors will have to face some type of fine that can vary and alcohol-abuse program that can carry additional problems. 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 get a $200 fine and a $300 fine will be issued for a third offense.
Any minor caught under the influence also must sign up for a mandatory three-month alcohol abuse program to get his license reinstated, and some may even have to go to a youth drunk driving program. A youth drunk driving program aims to curb the habit of drinking by forcing minors to visit an E.R., coroner’s office or recovery center to see victims of a DUI or who have abused drugs or alcohol. Any Orange County or strategic Laguna Beach DUI attorney may lessen the charges and help you receive only one treatment program, but the judge’s decision will vary based on your prior record.