What Drivers Under 21 Need To Know About DUI

When it comes to drinking and driving, people under the age of 21 learn quickly that the law is even stricter for them than it is for adults. If you are under 21 and facing a DUI charge, one of the experienced lawyers at Rien, Adams & Cox, LLP, can help you navigate these complicated matters.

We offer skilled advocacy, compassion and nonjudgmental counseling to all of our clients. Contact our Livermore office for a free consultation: 925-344-4634.

Just One Beer Can Put You Over The Limit

While most adults in California are considered over the legal limit when their blood alcohol level (BAC) reaches .08 or higher, the standard is stricter for those under 21.

Drivers under 21 are considered to be driving illegally if their BAC registers as .01 or higher. To put this level into perspective, most young men and women of average height and weight will reach that blood alcohol level after consuming less than one can of beer or one glass of wine.

Zero Tolerance Laws

California has "zero tolerance" laws for underage drivers caught drinking and driving. Those arrested are at risk of losing their license for a full year.

This strict response is meant to deter a serious problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents involving teen drivers are twice as likely to be caused by drinking — and are also more likely to result in a fatality.

What Are Your Options?

If you are arrested and charged with an underage DUI, you have the right to request a stay on your license suspension as well as a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles. This request has to be made within 10 days of the date of your arrest or citation.

It may also be possible to obtain a "critical need restriction" if you can prove that you need to drive in order to go to work or to school.

If you believe your BAC level was incorrect, that your rights were violated or you need help navigating this complicated area of the law, let the lawyers at Rien, Adams & Cox, LLP, be your advocate. One of our skilled attorneys can also work with you to request a stay on your suspended license or seek a critical need restriction. Contact us to learn more in a free initial consultation: 925-344-4634.

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