Under 21 DUI

Under 21 DUI

If you are under 21 years old and cited  for DUI there are a few different potential charges you may face, depending on the result your blood alcohol content level.

1. VC 23136 – Under 21 with a .01 BAC or higher

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is between a .01 to a .04 the likely charge will be a VC 23136.  Under VC 23136, it is illegal for someone under 21 years old to drive with a .01 Blood Alcohol Content or higher.
This charge is generally brought through a DMV Admin Per Se action.  If the suspension is upheld, there is a one year hard driving license suspension.
Often times this charge is the result of the licensee submitting to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening test machine.  If charged with a DUI under VC 23136, it is important to hire a DUI defense attorney quickly to defend your case to try to avoid the license suspension completely.   An experienced DUI Attorney can look for ways to challenge the police report, Preliminary Alcohol Screening test results and other aspects of the case to lead to a set aside of the DMV action.
We know how debilitating a one year driver license suspension can be.  Although the ultimate goal is to avoid a driver license suspension completely, your attorney can help you obtain a “critical needs license” in the event that there is a drivers license suspension.  A critical needs license allows the holder to drive on a restricted basis, for purposes such as work, school, and family medical issues.

2. VC 23140 – Under 21 with a .05 BAC or higher

Similar to VC 23136, VC 23140 is a charge that only applies to people under 21 years of age who are cited for DUI.   There are a few key differences between the two charges.  Unlike VC 23136, VC 23140 can be charged as an infraction in criminal court.  That being the case, the potential penalties are also increased as compared to VC 23136.
Along with a one year hard driver license suspension similar to that for a VC 23136 issue (see above), the penalties for a VC 23140 can also include fines, alcohol programs, and prior-ability for subsequent DUI related administrative actions (ie. to make a future license suspension longer).
For a first offense VC 23140 conviction with no other prior DUI related actions, there is a fine of $100 plus penalty assessment.  The fines increase to $200 plus penalty assessment if there is a prior offense within one year, and $300 plus penalty assessment if there is are two priors within one year.  Note that the penalty assessment greatly increases the amount of money that is owed to the Court.

3. VC 23152 – DUI

VC 23152 DUI is not limited to an age restriction.  There are several subsections for variations on the VC 23152.  For example, subsections (a) and (b) pertain to alcohol only.  Although subsection (b) pertains to having a .08 or higher BAC level, it can be charged even when someone’s BAC result in a breath or blood test was below a .08. Arguably it shouldn’t be in that situation, but the charge finds its way to criminal complaints at times in that situation.  Further, subsection (a) does not require a specific BAC level.
VC 23152 also has subsections that pertains to drugs.  Subsections 23152 (e) pertains to DUI drugs and subsection (f) pertains to a combination of alcohol and drugs.
Thus, it is possible for people 21 or over to get a VC 23152 charge even if their BAC level was below a .08.  For more information about this statute and defenses, click:  Driving Under the Influence

Free Consultation to discuss your situation

There are many defenses that can be used to fight DUI cases.  For underage DUI’s, potential defenses include:  You were not the driver, mouth alcohol, rising alcohol content level, unlawful stop, unlawful arrest, health issues (such as diabetes and acid reflux), machine margin of error, and the testing machines were not functioning properly or there were Title 17 code violations to name a few.
The Law Office of Philip D. Hache is happy to answer questions you have regarding your DUI citation or arrest.  Call 818-336-1384 for a free consultation to discuss your situation in more detail.   We are happy to help.