DUI Under 21
The reports published thus far surrounding Under 21 DUI convictions are alarming. In a 2019 National Drunk Driving Statistics Map, 9% of overall alcohol-impaired driving fatalities have involved those who are under 21 years old. While seemingly miniscule, it would be wrong to assume that the issue of underage drinking and driving is not a serious one.
In fact, the statistical data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 29% of drivers ages 15–20 who were killed in car accidents had been drinking. Adding on to the fact that “Teen drivers have a much higher risk of being involved in a crash than older drivers at the same blood alcohol concentration (BAC),” it becomes all the more clear that underage drinking and driving should be taken a lot more seriously.
In this blog, we will be going through some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding teen drunk driving. We hope that by the time you finish reading this blog in its entirety, that you develop a heightened sense of awareness surrounding the importance of preventing drunk driving among the youth.
What is the BAC limit for someone under 21?
The BAC limit for someone who is of drinking age (21 years old and above) is 0.8%. But what is the legal BAC limit for minors? The BAC for under 21 years old is 0.1%. This basically means that if you have a single drop of alcohol in your system, then you will be legally considered to be drinking and driving.
A lot of teenagers are prone to reckless behaviors and may resort to drunk driving to cope with growing pains. If you are a parent of a teenager, make sure you instill in them the dangers of driving beyond the legal alcohol limit under 21.
The Implied Consent Law means what for a minor?
The keyword here is “probable cause.” If, for whatever reason, police authorities have probable cause to believe that you, as a minor, are driving over the under 21 BAC limit of 0.1%, then they have the power to force you to take a breathalyzer.
California has an “implied consent law,” which means that if you’re on the road in California, it is “implied” that you consent to taking the breathalyzer by default. Failure to comply is a violation of this law and may lead to worse consequences.
DUI under 21 consequences
If you have a DUI as someone who is a minor, the legal repercussions you will face is a lot more dire than if you were to have a DUI conviction at 21 years old. Think about it, you were already not allowed to be drinking in the first place. But adding salt on the wound by driving? It only makes sense why those that are not of drinking age will face harsher punishments.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles:
Restrictions for people under 21 years old
- Those with a BAC of 0.01% and above are legally deemed to be drunk driving.
- First DUI offense: one year license suspension
- To get your license back, you will need to pay a fine of $100 and proof of financial responsibility (insurance)
Restrictions for people 21 years old or older
- Those with a BAC of 0.08% and above are legally deemed to be drunk driving
- First DUI Offense: 4-month license suspension
- To get your license back, you will need to pay a fine of $125 and proof of financial responsibility (insurance)
What Can I Do To Avoid A DUI Charge as a minor?
The most sure fire way of avoiding a DUI charge as a minor is to not drink altogether. However, that proves itself to be an impractical tip to give out since teenagers will usually just do whatever they want to do.
We don’t endorse underage drinking, but if those under 21 years old wish to partake in what are technically considered to be illegal, they must do so responsibly. They must not, under any circumstances, drive if they consume alcohol. If you see your underage friend reach for their keys even though they’re visibly drunk, confiscate them.
Not only is the possibility of them getting a DUI conviction apparent, they could also give someone a life-altering injury. Worse, they may kill the people on the road.
Do I need a personal injury lawyer if a drunk minor hit me?
Yes. If a minor violated the under 21 BAC limit and has in turn caused a car collision, you will need a personal injury lawyer to help you acquire the justice and compensation you need. If you leave the outcome of your case under the discretion of insurance companies, you will only be given a fraction of what you may otherwise get had you just hired a qualified lawyer.
You will need sufficient compensation to cover for the property damages in your car, as well as the treatment you will need so that you can fully recover.
Call Omega Law Group
With that being said, Omega Law Group is the personal injury law firm that you will want to represent you for your accident. The Omega team is filled with highly skilled drunk accident experts who can navigate the intricacies of the law in order to right the wrongs of someone’s drunken recklessness.
They have accrued over millions of dollars in total on behalf of their clients, helping them get back on their feet after a catastrophic accident thanks to their shrewd and skillful negotiation skills. But aside from their technical legal skills, they also personalize their services to their clients to best fit their unique needs.
Their relentless advocacy for their clients has led them to be recognized by industry vetted organizations like Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers. They’ve also been featured in prestigious publications like the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Business Journal, the latter of which heralding them as one of the “Most Admired Firms.”
Most notably, Omega Law Group is committed to helping those of meager financial means. They want to be the voice for those who have been wronged by reckless drunk drivers as well as greedy insurance companies.
True to their mission of providing quality and equitable legal care, they remain to operate on a contingency fee basis, relieving their clients of the burden of having to pay upfront for any legal fees. Schedule a free consultation now to learn more.