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Underage Dui Penalties – Are They Less Severe?

Underage DUI Penalties – License Suspension and Fines


When it comes to getting a DUI, underage drivers are easily at most risk for the most severe punishments available. While they might not spend years in jail for an offense, there are many more consequences that are far worse for young drivers, including license suspension, fines, and even probation. Typically, most states have a law that any driver caught driving with a certain BAC (blood alcohol content) is considered to be driving under the influence. This rule, however, doesn’t always apply to juveniles and underage dui penalties will vary based on a number of factors.

In California, anyone under the age of 21 that has a BAC of 0.01% can be charged with a DUI. If the driver has a BAC of 0.05% or higher, they can receive an underage DUI charge and an adult DUI charge from the same infraction, making them subject to arrest and jail time. A driver under 18 that is convicted of a DUI in California loses their license for one year, or until their 18th birthday. Typically, the court chooses whichever penalty is greater. Vehicles can be impounded when underage drivers are caught and charged with a DUI, which is one of the most expensive underage DUI penalties available.

Fines are a large part of underage DUI penalties. Drivers will often have to pay thousands of dollars in fines, vehicle repossession, and for license reinstatement once they have completed their punishment. If a driver refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test, they will immediately have their license suspended for one year because refusal of testing is seen as an admission of guilt in most cases. Chemical testing submission is critical to proving sobriety in underage DUI cases. Subsequent refusals may result in greater underage DUI penalties, including license suspension for up to 3 years if the offense is repeated within a 10 year period.

Underage DUI penalties are handed out by the DMV and the criminal court system simultaneously. The DMV is responsible for revoking or suspending licenses according to their laws or the court’s ruling, while the criminal court is responsible for imposing fines, probation, jail time, and other punishment including substance abuse classes. Underage DUI penalties within the social world are far worse than criminal penalties. For example, in the state of California, DUI offenders who are underage when charged must list their DUI on their college applications. This may or may not affect the acceptance of a student, and carries a social stigma of irresponsible behavior. It’s always best to avoid the situation by not drinking and driving, but if you are being charged with an underage DUI, you need a qualified attorney to help you with your case.

About the Author: Would you like more information about underage DUI penalties? Visit https://www.dui805.com where you’ll find more information on underage DUI penalties, plea bargain DUI and other penalties for DUI.

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About Santa Barbara DUI Attorney Kenneth M. Hallum:
As a DUI defense attorney, Kennnth Hallum is dedicated to an understanding of the art and science of California DUI defense with memberships in the California DUI Lawyers Association, the National College of DUI Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the California Public Defenders Association, and the State Bar of California.

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15 Responses to "Underage Dui Penalties – Are They Less Severe?"

  • Are Underage Dui Penalties Less Severe? | Australian Barrister
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  • rosita
    October 13, 2010 - 3:23 am Reply

    It is not just right but proper to punish individuals who are driving under the influence of alcohol because most of the vehicular accidents are caused by this,especially those who are driving under 18 years of age.By implementing these policies and punishments,vehicular accidents will be minimized.

  • DUI Law Guru
    October 13, 2010 - 7:09 am Reply

    I agree as much as possible, avoid drinking and driving. Underage or not, everyone should avoid it. Sometimes it is better to drink with friends at home and stay over. Why don’t they think of that.

  • James Barnes
    October 28, 2010 - 11:47 am Reply

    I totally agree with this one. A lot is at stake when under-aged drivers are caught with DUI. It would be very difficult for them to get accepted in college or get a job. But then, this will remind every one how dangerous driving while intoxicated really is.

  • Sheryl
    October 28, 2010 - 12:48 pm Reply

    This is indeed a helpful reminder especially for students like me. I will surely share this article to my colleagues to keep them aware of the consequences of DUI. Thank you for the informative post.

  • Alan
    October 29, 2010 - 5:24 am Reply

    Underage DUI penalties are the toughest amongst all DUI penalties. California in particular have the strictest underage DUI laws. As pointed out in the article, it is absolutely essential to consult a qualified attorney if anyone is charged with an underage DUI penalty.

  • Jennifer Teal
    October 29, 2010 - 1:35 pm Reply

    Underage DUI is a serious problem and it has to be eradicated. Many young people think that driving under influence is cool, which is wrong. If you are drunk and driving you pose threat to other conscientious drivers. Thanks Hallumlaw for raising such a burning issue here!

  • James Cooper
    November 2, 2010 - 4:15 pm Reply

    Underage DUI penalties are extremely harsh in California. You have to be aware of that and try to refrain from drunk-driving. Or get a good lawyer.

  • Ryu Chai
    November 10, 2010 - 12:13 pm Reply

    Many people are actually confused when it comes about underage DUI penalties. Thank you for these bits of information. These are undeniably helpful.

  • Antique Art Queen
    January 18, 2011 - 4:53 am Reply

    Great read.

    The social consequences truly outweigh the criminal penalties when it comes to underage DIU.


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