Call Us831-426-5800

Call Us831-566-4357

303 Potrero Street, Suite 30
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Underage Drinking and Driving Under the Influence

Posted on in DUI

Santa Cruz DUI defense attorneyDriving under the influence if you are incapable of safely operating a moving vehicle is in direct violation of the law. With any DUI conviction potentially comes harsh punishments. However, if you are participating in underage drinking and then also choose to drive a vehicle, the repercussions can be life-altering. At an age when the majority of your life is ahead of you, it is important to understand the charges you may be facing, how they can affect your future, as well as how to protect your rights and freedoms.

The Allegation

If you are underage and driving under the influence, you may be subjected to several charges against you. Not only that, but the people who furnished the alcohol and the owners of the property on which you consumed alcohol may also be charged due to their involvement in your delinquency. The potential charges against you will depend on the circumstances of your case, but may include:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI): California is a “zero-tolerance” state and anyone under 21 years of age found with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01% or higher may be charged with DUI;
  • Minor in possession;
  • Soliciting alcohol;
  • Child endangerment; and
  • Possession of false identification.

The Penalties

With exceptions provided for those who call 9-1-1 to help another friend who is in medical trouble as a direct cause of underage drinking, those under the age of 21 who consume alcohol face serious legal consequences. The penalties are greater if you then get behind the wheel because not only were you drinking when you were not of age, but you also were putting other lives in danger by driving. A few potential penalties if it is your first DUI offense are:

  • Jail time of four days to six months;
  • Fines up to $1,000;
  • License suspension for 30 days to 10 months; and
  • Required installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).

What to Do

Everyone makes mistakes; it is considered to be a part of the learning process. If you have had no prior convictions of underage DUI, it is possible that the court will give a lesser sentence. However, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a professional. Your future is on the line, and your rights need protection with help from someone who has experience with aggressively defending cases like yours. Even in the most tightly-knit cases, dependent on the circumstances, there still a likely defense option. If you are interested in discussing your situation with a proven Santa Cruz, CA DUI defense attorney, contact John J. Thornton, Attorney at Law today at 831-426-5800 or 831-566-4357 to schedule your free initial consultation.



Back to Top