The Under 21 DUI
California has adopted a “zero tolerance” posture with respect to drivers under the age of 21 years. A driver under 21-years-old who is found to have any alcohol in their system is subject to prosecution under two separate statutes specifically for drivers under 21. Moreover, they are also subject to prosecution under the full array of DUI statutes applicable to adults. Thus, drivers under 21-years-old can be convicted of both the under age statutes as well as the adult statutes.
Under 21 Laws
California Vehicle Code Section 23136 requires a driver under 21-years-old to submit to a breath test (preliminary alcohol screening test) if stopped by the police. This statute makes it a crime for a driver under 21-years-old to have any alcohol in their system. It they blow a 0.01% on the breath test, they can be prosecuted under this law.
California Vehicle Code Section 23140 makes it a crime for a driver under the age of 21 to drive with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05% or higher. Conviction of either CVC 23136 or CVC 23140 is an infraction and will result in a license suspension of at least one year. A refusal to take the breath test will result in a suspension up to three years.