Underage (Under 21) DUI

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303 Potrero Street, Suite 30
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Santa Cruz, CA Underage and Under 21 DUI Defense Lawyer

Attorney for Minors Charged with Driving Under the Influence in Santa Cruz County

Underage DUI

With more than 120,000 arrests for DUI in California each year, law enforcement and the courts aggressively pursue and prosecute drivers who drink and drive. This is especially true for drivers under 21 years old, who fall under the state's zero-tolerance DUI policy.

If your child was arrested or cited for DUI, skilled legal representation is available. A DUI conviction can have a significant impact on their future. With over 25 years of legal experience in the Santa Cruz area, Attorney John W. Thornton has handled many cases involving minors accused of drinking and driving. Attorney Thornton will fight to keep a conviction off your child's record and aggressively pursue the best possible outcome in their case.

California DUI Zero-Tolerance Law

While the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers 21 and over is .08% in California, it is .01% for underage drivers, meaning that any detected amount of alcohol can constitute a DUI charge as well as issues with the DMV. This, refusing or failing to complete a BAC test, or an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs, can carry a one-year driver's license revocation.

The drivers license suspension will go into effect 30 days from the citation date unless a hearing request is made within 10 days of the arrest. Their license is typically confiscated at the scene and they are given a temporary license that lasts until the suspension period begins. They also receive a form that provides information regarding the driver's right to a DMV hearing regarding their case.

DUI Defense Strategy

If you intend to fight your child's DUI charge, you want skilled legal representation from Attorney John W. Thornton. With a complete investigation regarding the facts of the case, Attorney Thornton can establish whether your child's rights were violated through an unlawful traffic stop or improper arrest. Attorney Thornton will sit down with you to discuss potential strategies and the best course of action toward a favorable result.

Contact a California DUI Attorney

A DUI conviction can limit a minor's ability to get into the college of their choice or attain a job they want. College and employment applications typically require an individual to declare if they have a DUI as part of their criminal history. Some private high schools and colleges (including UCSC) also punish students for behavior code violations, including ramifications for a DUI. While California's zero-tolerance DUI law is strict, your case may not be hopeless. Attorney John W. Thornton has successfully defended many minors charged with drinking and driving and will fight for your child's future. To schedule a free consultation with a Santa Cruz criminal defense lawyer, contact us today at 831-426-5800.

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