Drinking and driving is a serious offense in California. While the legal age of drinking in California is 21, underage drinking is still relatively common. Underage drinkers who drive tend to cause more accidents so California courts have strict regulations on underage drinking and a zero tolerance policy for underage DUIs. In California, you can be charged with an underage DUI if you are under the legal drinking age and have above a .01% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration). An underage drinker charged with their first DUI can expect penalties of up to 6 months in jail and up to $2600 in fees plus a suspended license for 1-10 months. In addition to these standard DUI penalties, an underage drinker can also face additional charges for alcohol use or possession. DUIs as well as some underage drinking charges both carry with them certain license suspensions as well. These are both serious charges and can mar a criminal record for years to come. It is best to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you or a loved one are facing such charges to ensure you receive the best possible case outcome given the facts. A DUI conviction before you are 21 will mean years of increased insurance rates and even steeper penalties if you get another DUI. The lifetime cost of being convicted of underage drinking and driving is significant so be sure to consult with an experienced attorney when facing this charge.
Are your or a loved one facing charges of underage drinking and driving? Visalia area criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens can best advise you on how to proceed with your case. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, every client gets the respect they deserve. Contact our Visalia or Hanford offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss strategic options for your case.