Ventura, CA, has a “zero-tolerance policy” when it comes to underage DUI. California’s minimum legal age for a full license (without a learner’s permit) is 18. However, underage drivers who have completed both their driver’s education and driver training can obtain learner’s permits.
As per recent reports, over 3% of alcohol abuse cases in Ventura, CA, are underage drinking cases. A conviction for underage DUI in the county can cost you thousands of dollars, jail time, and even license suspensions. The guidance and services of a Ventura DUI lawyer are almost vital if you face underage DUI charges in the city.
About Underage DUI
Ventura, CA, witnessed rapid spikes in DUI cases over the last five years. Hence, the state’s DUI and DWI laws are some of the strictest in the US. California Vehicle Code 23136 is the state law on underage drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Driver’s under the age of 21 do not have to be “under the influence” or “impaired” by alcohol to be arrested for DUI in Ventura, CA. Driving with any “detectable alcohol” in Ventura, CA, is considered unlawful under the zero-tolerance law.
You could get charged with underage DUI even with a BAC of or greater than 0.01%. Further, underage drivers will face penalties and punishments under California Vehicle Code 23140. These drivers could face temporary license suspensions and other related charges.
The punishments for underage DUI are more severe if the BAC is equal to or higher than 0.05% and include:
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year
- Fines of up to $100
- Compulsory participation in three-month alcohol education program
Repeat DUI offenders could face up to six months of jail time if BAC is equal to or higher than 0.08%. Additionally, California has an “implied consent” law for breath and blood tests as part of DUI arrests.
Best Defenses for Underage DUI
An expert Ventura DUI lawyer can help you find and use various divisionary strategies to your advantage if you are involved in an underage DUI case. The expert could attempt to convince the court that the act was not an aberration and will not be repeated. However, the state and the county have strict laws about underage drinking.
The most helpful strategy that lawyers use is to prove that you were not intoxicated while driving. Mild BAC levels (0.01% to 0.05%) could also result from the consumption of therapeutic medication like cough syrups, cold formulas, and homeopathic medicines. Your chances of getting an acquittal are higher if you are a first-time offender.
A reputed DUI lawyer can study the unique facts of your case and choose the best strategies and arguments to win your case. The legal expert can also help you obtain SR-22 insurance certificates, evidence, witness statements, and other relevant documentation required to make your case stronger.
The VCSD makes around 1000 DUI arrests every year, and some of them include underage drivers. Underage DUI convictions in Ventura, CA, come with long-term legal implications. The knowledge and expertise of a reputed Ventura DUI attorney can help save your license.