Many young people come down with what is known as “spring fever” this time of year. This disease is not a health condition, as the name might imply. Spring fever, rather, is an excess of energy, difficulty concentrating, and a proclivity for mischief. The sun is shining, the weather warming, flowers blooming, and life is magnificent in all its rich possibilities. This at times overwhelming confluence of good vibes is felt with special intensity by students looking forward to college while in their last semester of high school.
We have all heard of the sometimes outrageous senior pranks by outgoing high school grads. These acts of mischief are almost always in good fun and seldom cause problems. Problems do arise, however, when spring fever involves a minor consuming alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of an automobile. The state of California has no tolerance for this behavior and punishes it harshly. If you or your child has been charged with underage drinking in driving, it is imperative that you contact a skilled and experienced California DUI defense attorney.
Conviction for underage drinking and driving in California can have serious ramifications. Beyond the typical fines, probation, mandatory DUI education, and potential jail time, there is the damage done to a minor’s reputation. This reputational damage goes beyond the abstract and can have real consequences on a minor’s educational and vocational aspirations. To protect your reputation, legal rights, and future, contact an experienced California DUI defense attorney to begin mounting the strongest possible legal defense.
Drivers Under the Age of 21 Are Not Allowed to Have Any Alcohol in Their System
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is the scientific measurement used in testing for driving while under the influence of alcohol. BAC is the ratio of alcohol per milliliter of blood in the body. For adults, the .08% BAC is the threshold for unlawful drinking and driving. In other words, a BAC reading of .08% is grounds for a DUI arrest. For minors, the BAC threshold is much more stringent. Even a .01% BAC test result is grounds for a DUI arrest. The reason for this strict law is, as you have probably already guessed, is that minors are barred from purchasing and consuming alcohol.
The legal drinking age is 21. As such, the law regards it as a flagrant violation for a minor to both unlawfully consume alcohol and get behind the wheel. To punish this serious disregard for the law, underage drinking – even for a low BAC reading that does not correspond with impairment – is punishable by a one-year driver’s license suspension, a fine of $100 or more, compulsory attendance in DUI school, three to five years of probation and possible jail time. Punishments are even more severe if the underage drinking and driving resulted in accident, especially one in which personal injuries resulted. If you or your child has been charged with underage DUI, contact an experienced California DUI defense attorney immediately.