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What Happens if I am Charged With an Underage DUI in California?

There are few criminal charges that can affect an individual’s life as drastically as those involving driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, if you were caught driving while under the influence while under the age of 21, you are looking at very serious potential penalties. Our firm is here to fight those penalties. Continue reading and speak with our experienced Red Bluff criminal lawyer to learn more about what happens when someone is charged with an underage DUI in California. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the charges an underage motorist may face for a DUI in California?

When an underage motorist is charged with a DUI, it means that he or she most likely took a breathalyzer test that confirmed their blood alcohol content was above the legal limit. You should understand that though the BAC needed to receive a standard DUI in California is .08%, when it comes to those who are under the age of 21, they may receive a DUI for a BAC of even .01% under California’s “zero tolerance” law. That being said, if you are under the age of 21 and blow a BAC of .05%, you will most likely receive a standard Underage DUI charge. Additionally, if you receive a DUI with a BAC of .08% or higher, you will receive a “standard” adult DUI charge, which comes with even harsher penalties.

What are the penalties for an underage DUI in California?

The penalties for various underage DUI charges in the state of California are as follows:

  • For violating California’s “zero tolerance” law: A 1-year driver’s license suspension.
  • For having a BAC of .05%: A 1-year driver’s license suspension, as well as a potential $100 fine and the enrollment in an alcohol education program.
  • For a BAC of .08%: Between 3-5 years of misdemeanor probation, a driver’s license suspension, a potential $1,000 fine, enrollment in an alcohol education program, and up to 6 months in county jail.
  • For underage possession of alcohol in a vehicle: A 1-year driver’s license suspension, a potential $1,000 fine, and vehicle impoundment of up to 30 days.

Rather obviously, the penalties you may face for an underage DUI in the state of California are very serious, which is why if you’ve been charged with a DUI, you must retain the services of a knowledgeable California criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. Our firm is ready to help.


Here at Cohen Criminal Law, we believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Our mission is to defend your rights, and we are committed to that mission. We will be your number one advocate through every step of the process. Attorney Cohen has fought on behalf of those charged with crimes for over 30 years, and he is ready to fight for you, too. Contact Cohen Criminal Law today to schedule your free initial consultation with our firm.