Ventura County – Harsher than Zero Tolerance
Those whom are under 21 cannot drive with any alcohol at all in their system, under the State of California's Zero Tolerance policy. In addition to the state-wide DMV imposed one year license suspension, under 21 DUI drivers in Ventura County must face even harsher penalties.
VC 23136 – Zero Tolerance
The State of California has taken a hard stance against under 21 DUI drivers. Those under 21 years of age cannot drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. Consequently, drivers under the age of 21 do not have the option of refusing the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test.
If the PAS test detects alcohol of .01% or greater, a DMV hearing must be requested within 10 days to contest the one year license suspension. If the alcohol level is below .05%, a violation of VC 23136 may be filed in court. However, such a violation is only a “civil offense”, and will only result in a fine if convicted.
The real punishment for violating the Zero Tolerance policy is the one year license suspension. These cases may be defensible on legal and/or technical grounds, as many officers do not necessarily follow the appropriate procedures with respect to the breath machines. If the DMV hearing cannot be won, one may be eligible for the critical need or hardship license which permits driving to and from work and/or school. Despite the difficulties in obtaining such a license, my involvement in the application process is often successful.
VC 23140 – .05% TO .07% BAC
Under 21 drivers with a BAC from .05% to .07% may be charged with a violation of VC 23140. If convicted of this infraction, the punishment at court only includes a fine, and does not result in jail time or a probation. However, in certain cases involving particularly bad or impaired driving or a clearly falling BAC, under 21 drivers in Ventura County may face misdemeanor DUI prosecution and penalties.
Violators of this offense must also contend with DMV and the one year license suspension, as well as the difficulties in obtaining a hardship license. In addition, those convicted at court of this offense must complete the 3 month alcohol school in order to eventually get their license reinstated.
These cases may be defensible on legal and/or technical grounds, as many officers do not necessarily follow the appropriate procedures with respect to the breath machines. If the DMV hearing cannot be won, one may be eligible for the critical need or hardship license which permits driving to and from work and/or school. Despite the difficulties in obtaining such a license, my involvement in the application process is often successful.
VC 23152(a) and VC 23152(b)
Of course, under 21 DUI drivers in Ventura County can also be charged with violating the above DUI statutes. In addition to the one year license suspension imposed by DMV, the Ventura County District Attorney seeks mandatory jail time, pursuant to their policy. If you are under 21 and facing DUI charges in Ventura County, it is imperative that you obtain legal representation.
Ventura DUI Attorney Jasen Nielsen
As a former Ventura County DUI prosecutor, I know how your case will be prosecuted and what factors will be used in the penalties that are sought, including aggravating factors that may result in special allegations and even harsher penalties. Many of my clients have been under the age of 21, and I have obtained excellent results for them. I also have good relationships with the judges and prosecutors, and know what can be done to mitigate those cases that cannot be won. If you are under the age of 21 and have been arrested for a DUI in Ventura County, please call me today at (805)564-4384 for a free consultation.