Underage DUI Attorney in Los Angeles
DUI Under Age 21
California has one of the country’s strictest laws against driving with any measurable amount of alcohol if you are under 21 years of age.
As in a regular DUI, it comes in two parts: the DMV administrative process and the criminal process in court.
The DMV hearing will be based on whether a preliminary alcohol screening device or other chemical test detected a measured .01 or higher blood alcohol level. If the finding is sustained there is a mandatory one year license suspension.
At court, there are various possible charges depending on the actual BAC of the driver. The case can be filed as a standard DUI (.08% bac or higher), or as an infraction in cases of very low blood alcohol levels.
However, conviction of any alcohol-related driving while under 21, still leads to a one year suspension.
Unlike in the criminal case, or a person over 21 receiving an Admin Per Se Notice of Suspension, the DMV can rely solely on the evidence from the PAS device (Preliminary Alcohol Screen) to determine whether a violation of the zero tolerance law has occurred. That means that even a reading as low as a .01 BAC can be used to suspend your license for one year.
One of the first places an experienced DUI lawyer will look is to obtain the calibration, maintenance and accuracy tests of the PAS device prior to the DMV hearing. Only an experienced DUI lawyer knows how to obtain, review and analyze these important records that can often determine the outcome of the hearing.
Another area that a good DUI lawyer will want to take a close look at is the circumstances surrounding the original police contact. It’s crucial to establish that the officer had a legitimate basis to initiate a stop. It’s important to emphasize that cops have no right to stop anyone unless they believe a law has been broken, or they have another legally valid reason as the basis for the contact. Their hunch is not enough!
Obviously, it’s important to have good representation if there is to be any hope of saving your license. You’ll want the best legal defense possible, so call now.