Consequences for a DUI if you are under age
Getting a DUI in the state already comes with a variety of penalties that can be crippling financially, socially and career-wise. However, if someone is under the legal drinking age of 21, there may be even stiffer consequences.
First, the legal limit for underage drinkers is a lot lower than for those 21 years of age and older. Second, some of the penalties may affect college, scholarships and other important factors.
Underage drinking laws
According to FindLaw, California has a zero-tolerance blood alcohol limit when it comes to underage drinking and driving. This means anyone under the age of 21 can face a DUI if the BAC is .02 or higher, which occurs with pretty much any amount of alcohol in the system. However, even if someone is not behind the wheel or did not take a breathalyzer, the individual may face a different drinking violation, including:
- Underage drinking
- Possession of alcohol in public
- Open container
Penalties for an underage DUI
Some of the penalties an underage individual may face include driver’s license suspension, alcohol education classes and potential vehicle confiscation. The California Biz Journal states that criminal penalties may include fines, jail time and probation. An underage DUI may also have additional penalties.
Even a first DUI goes on someone’s permanent record, which can have devastating consequences for high school and college students. An incoming college student may find out that some schools do not accept applicants with a DUI on their record. A DUI may affect one’s chances of getting a financial scholarship or losing a current one. A DUI may also affect internships and employment opportunities.
There are also social consequences of a DUI. Without a car, it is harder to get around. There may also be required, random BAC checks that put a stop to party life.