DUI Zero Tolerance
“Zero tolerance” as it relates to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) means that certain drivers may not drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01 or above. Zero tolerance currently applies to two types of drivers: those under the age of 21 and those already on probation for a previous DUI.
Zero Tolerance for Probationers
On Jan 1, 2009, California Vehicle Code section 23154 was amended to require that drivers on probation submit to a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) breathalyzer to measure their BAC. If probationers are found driving with a 0.01 BAC or above, it will be a violation of their probation, to which various penalties will attend. Currently, there are no further civil sanctions, but the Legislature may add them at a later time. Unlike someone not on probation, refusal of a probationer to submit to a PAS breathalyzer test or other field sobriety tests will result in driver’s license suspension or revocation from 1 to 3 years.
Zero Tolerance for Minors under 21
Vehicle Code section 23136 proscribes drivers under 21 from driving with a BAC of 0.01 or greater. A convicted driver under 18 will have his or her license revoked for a year or until she attains 18, whichever is greater. For example, a 16-year-old DUI convict won’t be able to drive until she turns 18. A minor between 18 and 21 will have her driver's license suspended for a year and incur additional fines at the DMV. Unlike drivers over 21, minors must submit to field sobriety tests and PAS breathalyzers, or have their license suspended for up to a year.
A minor under 21 whose BAC is from 0.01 to 0.04 will only incur license suspension, DMV fines, and other civil fines. A minor with a BAC from 0.05 to 0.08 will be subject to criminal penalties under Vehicle Code 23140, which include taking a DUI program, possible car impoundment, fines, and criminal record. A minor under 21 with a BAC of .08% or higher will be tried as an adult, and subject to misdemeanor penalties such as criminal fines, jail time, community service, DUI classes, and more.
RLG attorneys are experienced in all aspects of DUI law. If you have been arrested for DUI, a criminal defense attorney at RLG will fight to protect your rights. We serve the entire Bay Area.
For outstanding legal representation, please contact RLG for a free consultation: (415) 877-4486
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