California's "Minor in Possession of Alcohol" Laws
(Business and Professions Code 25662 BP)
(Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC)

Business and Professions Code 25662 BP is California's "minor in possession" law.  This law prohibits minors under 21 from possessing an alcoholic beverage in any public place.1

Defenses

There are several legal defenses that apply to this law.  For example:

  • the minor didn't actually possess the alcohol (it wasn't his/hers),
  • the minor was delivering it under orders from a boss / parent / guardian and only possessed it for that limited purpose,2
  • the alcohol was discovered during an illegal search and seizure, or
  • the minor otherwise acted responsibly by calling 911 to report that he or another minor needed medical attention.3
Penalties

Although Business and Professions Code 25662 BP is only punishable by community service and/or a fine, it is nevertheless a misdemeanor.4 This means that a conviction will become part of one's permanent criminal record, which is why it is critical to fight this charge.

In addition, Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC provides that a conviction for violating California's minor in possession law will result in a one-year suspension of the minor's driver's license or a one-year delay in his opportunity to obtain a driver's license if he is not old enough to obtain a license.  This law further provides that an additional one-year suspension will be added to each subsequent underage alcohol or drug-related conviction that he suffers.5

In this article, our California criminal defense attorneys6 explain California's minor in possession law...and the applicable defenses to this law...by addressing the following:

1. What is California's Minor in
Possession Law?

1.1. Possession

1.2. Alcoholic beverage

1.3. Public place

2. Legal Defenses

2.1. You didn't possess the alcohol

2.2. You possessed the alcohol for an approved
limited purpose

2.3. The alcohol was discovered pursuant to an illegal search and seizure

2.4. You called 911

3. Penalties, Punishment and Sentencing

3.1. Juvenile proceedings

4. Related Offenses

4.1. Business and Professions Code 25658 California's law against selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor

4.2. Business and Professions Code 25658.2 California's law against parents allowing children to consume alcohol in
their home

4.3. Penal Code 272 PC California's law against contributing to the delinquency of a minor

4.4. Penal Code 647(f) California's drunk in public law

4.5. Vehicle Code 23224 VC California's law against possessing an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle

4.6. California's DUI laws that pertain to minors under 21

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on Business and Professions Code 25658 California's Law Against Selling or Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor; Penal Code 272 PC California's Law Against Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor; Penal Code 647(f) California's Drunk in Public Law; California's DUI Laws that Pertain to Minors Under 21; California Vehicle Code 23152 VC Driving Under the Influence; The California Juvenile Court System; California Adjudication Hearings; Sealing California Juvenile Records; Expunging California Criminal Records; California Infraction Charges; California Misdemeanor Charges; and California Legal Defenses.

1. What is California's Minor in Possession Law?

Simply put, California's minor in possession "MIP" law prohibits minors...that is, persons under 21...from possessing alcoholic beverages in any public place.7 Notice that we said possessing alcohol.  Minors who consume alcohol may or may not be prosecuted for criminal activity, depending on the circumstances (discussed in more detail below in Section 1.3. Public places).

But before the prosecutor can prove that you violated California's MIP law, he/she must prove the following facts (otherwise known as "elements" of the crime):

  1. at the time of the offense, you were under 21,
  2. you possessed an alcoholic beverage, and
  3. the possession occurred in any public place, in a place open to the public or on any street or highway.8

While this law may seem fairly self-explanatory, let's take a closer look at a few of these terms and phrases to gain a better understanding of their legal definitions.

1.1. Possession

You can possess an alcoholic beverage

  1. personally or constructively, and
  2. by yourself or with another person.

Any of these types of possession can lead to a conviction for this offense.9

Examples:

If you are holding a can of beer, you clearly possess the alcohol.

But let's say you put your beer down on the curb next to you.  Even though you are no longer personally holding it, it is still under your control.  This means that you "constructively possess" the beer.

And finally let's say that you and a friend are sharing a beer.  Regardless of whether one of you is actually holding the beer...or whether it is sitting on the curb...you two "jointly" possess the beer.

1.2. Alcoholic beverage

An alcoholic beverage is defined as a liquid or solid material that contains at least one-half of one percent of alcohol that is intended to be consumed.  This includes "hard" alcohol, spirits, wine, beer and other types of liquor.10

1.3. Public place

California's minor in possession law is very specific about where it is illegal for a minor to possess alcohol.  This law specifically states that it is against the law for a minor to possess alcohol

  1. in a public place (such as a park),
  2. in a place that is open to the public (such as a bar or restaurant), or
  3. on any street or highway.

And as Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney John Murray11 explains, "This list excludes private locations such as a person's home.  A minor who consumes alcohol in a private home...and remains in that home...does not necessarily commit a crime."

If the minor leaves the home and brings his/her alcohol into a car, he/she may face charges for violating Vehicle Code 23224 VC California's "open container" law against possessing an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle.

In addition, if the minor is impaired and leaves the home, he/she subjects him/herself to possible charges under

  1. California's DUI laws that pertain to minors under 21 which include

  2. Penal Code 647(f) California's drunk in public law.

In addition, the owner of the residence may face criminal charges as well under Business and Professions Code 25658.2 California's law against parents allowing children to consume alcohol in their home (discussed in more detail below in Section 4.2.).

And along these same lines, any business owner who allows a minor to consume alcohol in his/her establishment also faces prosecution under Business and Professions Code 25658 California's law against selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Finally, both parents and business owners may also face charges under Penal Code 272 PC California's law against contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

2. Legal Defenses

There are a variety of California legal defenses that are applicable to fight your "minor in possession" charges that a skilled California criminal defense attorney could present on your behalf.

The following are some of the most common:

2.1. You didn't possess the alcohol

If you didn't possess the alcoholic beverage -- but rather it belonged to someone else -- you are not guilty of this offense.

You must personally or jointly possess the alcohol in order to violate this law.  Simply being present while other minors possess alcohol is not enough to

  1. justify a conviction for minor in possession of alcohol, or
  2. sustain a conviction for violating California's aiding and abetting laws with respect to Business and Professions Code 25662.12

2.2. You possessed the alcohol for an approved limited purpose

Business and Professions Code 25662 -- California's minor in possession law -- provides an exception for authorized possession for a limited purpose.

If you are under 21 and are delivering alcohol under the direction of

  1. your parent or other caregiver, or
  2. pursuant to your job,

this will serve as a complete defense to a California MIP charge. 13

Example:  You are a delivery boy for a local convenience store.  Your boss instructs you to take a variety of items, including a six-pack of beer to a customer.  Because you are obeying his orders...and are doing so pursuant to your job...you are not guilty of violating this law.

But note, the fact that you possessed alcohol for this limited purpose is what's known as an affirmative defense which means that it is up to you (through your attorney) to prove that you fell within this authorized exception.14

2.3. The alcohol was discovered pursuant to an illegal search and seizure

Even if you are technically guilty of being a minor in possession, you may be absolved of criminal liability if the police discovered your alcohol in violation of California's search and seizure laws.

If you can prove that the cops violated California's search and seizure laws...perhaps by

your case may be dismissed or at least significantly reduced.

2.4. You called 911

If...at the time of the alleged offense...you were under 21 and you

  1. called 911 to report that yourself or another person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption,
  2. you were the first person to call 911,
  3. you remained on the scene until medical assistance arrived, and
  4. you cooperated with those who were providing medical assistance and any on-scene law enforcement officers,

you will be immune from criminal prosecution under California's minor in possession law.  However, if the alleged offense also included reports of any drinking and driving, this defense will not apply.15

3. Penalties, Punishment and Sentencing

Business and Professions Code 25662 PC is a California misdemeanor.16 If convicted, you face

  • a $250 fine (∗$500 for a second or subsequent violation),
  • between 24 and 32 hours of community service at an alcohol or drug treatment center or at a county coroner's office (∗between 36 and 48 hours for a second or subsequent violation),
  • participation in a youthful drunk driver program,17 and
  • a one-year driver's license suspension or a one-year suspension delaying your eligibility to obtain a license if you have not yet received your driver's license (and an additional one-year suspension for each subsequent underage alcohol or drug-related conviction).

Your driving privilege is suspended pursuant to California Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC.18 Under this law, there may be ways to modify your license suspension if

  1. following your conviction, you do not sustain another conviction within a 12-month period,19 or
  2. you present a "critical need to drive" because public transportation is not reasonably available and you must drive to

    • school,
    • work (where your family relies on you to work to help with financial support), or
    • medical appointments to help an ill family member.20

3.1. Juvenile proceedings

It is also important to understand that if you are under 18 at the time of the alleged offense, your case will be proceed through the California Juvenile Court system. This means that instead of a jury trial, your case would be determined by way of a California juvenile adjudication hearing.

If the judge "sustains" the petition, that is equivalent to a guilty verdict, and the misdemeanor will become part of your permanent criminal record.

The good news is that our firm knows the most effective ways to help seal California juvenile records...and, similarly, how to expunge expunge California adult criminal records.

4. Related Offenses

There are a variety of offenses that are closely related to California's minor in possession law because they are either charged in addition to or in lieu of Business and Professions Code 25662 BP.

The following are some of the most common:

4.1. Business and Professions Code 25658 California's law against selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor

Business and Professions Code 25658 California's law against selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor prohibits

  1. giving or selling alcohol to minors, and/or
  2. allowing minors to consume alcohol on your premises under certain conditions.

Violations of this law allow prosecutors to charge the adult with this offense while simultaneously prosecuting the minor for being in possession of the alcohol that the adult furnished.

Furnishing alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor, punishable by fines, community service and a possible jail sentence.21

4.2. Business and Professions Code 25658.2 California's law against parents allowing children to consume alcohol in their home

Business and Professions Code 25658.2 BP prohibits parents from allowing anyone under 18 years old from consuming alcohol or drugs in their home if

  1. the child has a blood alcohol concentration "BAC" of 0.05% or greater or is under the influence of drugs,
  2. the parent knowingly allows the child to then drive a car, and
  3. that child causes an accident.

This offense is a misdemeanor, subjecting an offender to up to one-year in a county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.22

4.3. Penal Code 272 PC California's law against contributing to the delinquency of a minor

Penal Code 272 PC California's law against contributing to the delinquency of a minor essentially prohibits committing an act or failing to perform a duty that causes a minor to behave in an unlawful manner.  This law not only applies to adults who contribute to the delinquency of a minor but also to minors who contribute to the delinquency of other minors.

So if (as an adult) you furnish alcohol to minors, prosecutors could also charge you with this offense.  And if (as a minor) you are with a group of minors where you are all in possession of and/or consuming alcohol, prosecutors could charge you with this offense and with being a minor in possession.

Penal Code 272 PC is a misdemeanor, subjecting you to up to one year in a county jail and a maximum $2,500 fine.23

4.4. Penal Code 647(f) California's drunk in public law

Penal Code 647(f) California's drunk in public law prohibits being intoxicated in public to the point where you

  1. cannot exercise care for yourself, or you present a safety risk to others, and/or
  2. interfere with, obstruct or prevent others from using streets, sidewalks or other "public ways."

If you not only possess alcohol but have also consumed alcohol and satisfy these criteria, prosecutors could charge you with both of these offenses.

California's drunk in public law is a misdemeanor subjecting you to up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.24

4.5. Vehicle Code 23224 VC California's law against possessing an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle

Vehicle Code 23224 VC (one of the California Open Container laws) prohibits minors under 21 from driving or riding in a car with an alcoholic beverage in the car unless

  1. he/she is accompanied by a parent / guardian for the purpose of transporting that alcohol pursuant to the adult's work, or
  2. he/she does so under the direction of his/her employer / parent / guardian.

This offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by

  • up to six months in a county jail,
  • a maximum $1,000 fine,
  • a one-to-thirty day impound of the car, and
  • a driver's license suspension as defined above under Section 3. Penalties, Punishment and Sentencing.25

4.6. California's DUI laws that pertain to minors under 21

If you not only possess alcohol, but you also consume alcohol and then drive, you face prosecution under California's DUI laws that pertain to minors under 21. These include

  • California Vehicle Code 23136 VC: California's Zero Tolerance Law (a civil offense),26
  • California Vehicle Code 23140 VC: Under 21 DUI with a BAC of 0.05% - 0.07% (an infraction),  or27
  • California Vehicle Code 23152 VC: Driving Under the Influence
    (a misdemeanor).

The penalties for these offenses range, depending on which charge you face and the circumstances of the offense.

Call us for help...
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If you or loved one is charged with Business and Professions Code 25662 BP / Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC minor in possession of alcohol and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

We also have law offices in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada.

Legal References

1 California Business and Professions Code 25662 -- Possession of beverage by minor; authorization of peace officers to seize beverages; disposition of seized beverages.  ("(a) Except as provided in Section 25667, any person under the age of 21 years who has any alcoholic beverage in his or her possession on any street or highway or in any public place or in any place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours or more than 32 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed or is not attending school. A second or subsequent violation shall be punishable as a misdemeanor and the person shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or required to perform not less than 36 hours or more than 48 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed or is not attending school, or a combination of fine and community service as the court deems just. It is the intent of the Legislature that the community service requirements prescribed in this section require service at an alcohol or drug treatment program or facility or at a county coroner's office, if available, in the area where the violation occurred or where the person resides. This section does not apply to possession by a person under the age of 21 years making a delivery of an alcoholic beverage in pursuance of the order of his or her parent, responsible adult relative, or any other adult designated by the parent or legal guardian, or in pursuance of his or her employment. That person shall have a complete defense if he or she was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative, or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage. (b) Unless otherwise provided by law, where a peace officer has lawfully entered the premises, the peace officer may seize any alcoholic beverage in plain view that is in the possession of, or provided to, a person under the age of 21 years at social gatherings, when those gatherings are open to the public, 10 or more persons under the age of 21 years are participating, persons under the age of 21 years are consuming alcoholic beverages, and there is no supervision of the social gathering by a parent or guardian of one or more of the participants. Where a peace officer has seized alcoholic beverages pursuant to this subdivision, the officer may destroy any alcoholic beverage contained in an opened container and in the possession of, or provided to, a person under the age of 21 years, and, with respect to alcoholic beverages in unopened containers, the officer shall impound those beverages for a period not to exceed seven working days pending a request for the release of those beverages by a person 21 years of age or older who is the lawful owner or resident of the property upon which the alcoholic beverages were seized. If no one requests release of the seized alcoholic beverages within that period, those beverages may be destroyed. (c) The penalties imposed by this section do not preclude prosecution or the imposition of penalties under any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, Section 13202.5 of the Vehicle Code.")

2 See same.

3 California Business and Professions Code 25667 - Immunity from criminal prosecution under specified minor consumption provisions.  ("(a) Any person under the age of 21 years shall be immune from criminal prosecution under subdivision (a) of Section 25662 and subdivision (b) of Section 25658, where the person establishes all of the following: (1) The underage person called 911 and reported that either himself or herself or another person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption. (2) The underage person was the first person to make the 911 report. (3) The underage person, who reported that another person was in need of medical assistance, remained on the scene with the other person until that medical assistance arrived and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel on the scene. (b) This section shall not provide immunity from criminal prosecution for any offense that involves activities made dangerous by the consumption of alcoholic beverages, including, but not limited to, a violation of Section 23103 of the Vehicle Code, as specified by Section 23103.5 of the Vehicle Code, or a violation of Sections 23152 and 23153 of the Vehicle Code.")

4 See Business and Professions Code 25662 BP California's minor in possession law, endnote 1, above.

5 California Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC - Drug and alcohol related offenses by person under age of 21, but aged 13 or over; suspension, delay, or restriction of driving privileges.  ("(a) For each conviction of a person for an offense specified in subdivision (d), committed while the person was under the age of 21 years, but 13 years of age or older, the court shall suspend the person's driving privilege for one year. If the person convicted does not yet have the privilege to drive, the court shall order the department to delay issuing the privilege to drive for one year subsequent to the time the person becomes legally eligible to drive. However, if there is no further conviction for an offense specified in subdivision (d) in a 12-month period after the conviction, the court, upon petition of the person affected, may modify the order imposing the delay of the privilege. For each successive offense, the court shall suspend the person's driving privilege for those possessing a license or delay the eligibility for those not in possession of a license at the time of their conviction for one additional year. As used in this section, the term "conviction" includes the findings in juvenile proceedings specified in Section 13105. (b) Whenever the court suspends driving privileges pursuant to subdivision (a), the court in which the conviction is had shall require all driver's licenses held by the person to be surrendered to the court. The court shall within 10 days following the conviction transmit a certified abstract of the conviction, together with any driver's licenses surrendered, to the department. (c)(1) After a court has issued an order suspending or delaying driving privileges pursuant to subdivision (a), the court, upon petition of the person affected, may review the order and may impose restrictions on the person's privilege to drive based upon a showing of a critical need to drive. (2) As used in this section, "critical need to drive" means the circumstances that are required to be shown for the issuance of a junior permit pursuant to Section 12513. (3) The restriction shall remain in effect for the balance of the period of suspension or restriction in this section. The court shall notify the department of any modification within 10 days of the order of modification. (d) This section applies to violations involving controlled substances or alcohol contained in the following provisions: (1) Article 7 (commencing with Section 4110) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of, and Sections 25658, 25658.5, 25661, and 25662 of, the Business and Professions Code. (2) Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code. (3) Section 191.5, subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 192.5, and subdivision (f) of Section 647 of the Penal Code. (4) Section 23103 when subject to Section 23103.5, Section 23140, and Article 2 (commencing with Section 23152) of Chapter 12 of Division 11 of this code. (e) Suspension, restriction, or delay of driving privileges pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any penalty imposed upon conviction of a violation specified in subdivision (d).")

6 Our California criminal defense attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier.  We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

7 See Business and Professions Code 25662 BP California's minor in possession law, endnote 1, above.

8 California Jury Instructions, Criminal "CALJIC" 16.020 - California minor in possession.  ("[Defendant is accused [in Count[s] ] of having violated section 25662, subdivision (a) of the Business and Professions Code, a misdemeanor.] Any person under the age of 21 years who [unlawfully] has any alcoholic beverage in [his] [her] possession [on any street or highway] [or] [in any public place] [or] [in any place open to the public] is guilty of a violation of Business and Professions Code section 25662, subdivision (a), a misdemeanor. [Possession of an alcoholic beverage by a person under the age of 21 years is not unlawful if [he] [she] is making a delivery of an alcoholic beverage [in pursuance of the order of [his] [her] __________] [in pursuance of [his] [her] employment] [and is following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of [his] [her] __________].] In order to prove this crime, each of the following elements must be proved: 1 A person under the age of 21 years [unlawfully] possessed an alcoholic beverage; and 2 The possession occurred [on] [in] __________.")

9 Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions "CALCRIM" 2960.  ("2960 Possession of Alcoholic Beverage by Person Under 21 (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 25662(a)) The defendant is charged [in Count ] with [unlawfully] possessing an alcoholic beverage when under 21 years old [in violation of Business and Professions Code section 25662(a)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant [unlawfully] possessed an alcoholic beverage (in/on) a (street[,]/ [or] highway[,]/ [or] public place[,]/ [or] a place open to the public); AND 2 At the time, the defendant was under 21 years old. An alcoholic beverage is a liquid or solid material intended to be consumed that contains one-half of 1 percent or more of alcohol by volume. [An alcoholic beverage includes <insert type[s] of beverage[s] from Bus. & Prof. Code, § 23004, e.g., wine, beer>.] [Under the law, a person becomes one year older as soon as the first minute of his or her birthday has begun.] [Two or more persons may possess something at the same time.] [A person does not have to actually hold or touch something to possess it. It is enough if the person has (control over it/ [or] the right to control it), either personally or through another person.] <Defense: Following Reasonable Adult Instructions> [The defendant did not unlawfully possess an alcoholic beverage if (he/she) was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of (his/her) (parent/legal guardian/responsible adult relative/employer/ <insert name or description of person designated by parent or legal guardian>) to deliver [or dispose of] the alcoholic beverage. The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not following such instructions. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of this crime.]")

10 See same.

See also California Business and Professions Code 23004 - Alcoholic beverage.  (""Alcoholic beverage" includes alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine, beer and every liquid or solid containing alcohol, spirits, wine, or beer, and which contains one-half of 1 percent or more of alcohol by volume and which is fit for beverage purposes either alone or when diluted, mixed, or combined with other substances.")

11 Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney John Murray defends clients throughout the Inland Empire including Hemet, Palm Springs, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside and San Bernardino.

12 People v. Simon (1955) 45 Cal.2d 645, 649.  ("It is true that defendant's friend had a bottle, and it may be assumed without deciding that the appearance of the bottle and of defendant's friend were sufficient to justify the officer's concluding that the friend was committing a misdemeanor in his presence. Bus. and Prof.Code, s 25662 (possession of alcoholic beverage by a minor on a public street); see Coverstone v. Davis, 38 Cal.2d 315, 319-321, 239 P.2d 876. The mere fact, however, that defendant was walking on the street with a 20 year old friend who had a bottle did not constitute reasonable cause to believe that defendant was committing or attempting to commit an offense in the officer's presence by either aiding or abetting his friend in committing a crime [in violation of California's aiding and abetting laws] or contributing to the delinquency of a minor.")

13 See Business and Professions Code 25662 BP California's minor in possession law, endnote 1, above.

14 People v. Fuentes (1990) 224 Cal.App.3d 1041, 1045-1046. ("In drafting Business and Professions Code section 4149, the Legislature relegated to defendant the burden regarding lawful acquisition of a hypodermic needle or syringe. "It is well established that where a statute first defines an offense in unconditional terms and then specifies an exception to its operation, the exception is an affirmative defense to be raised and proved by the defendant....The designation of authorized possession as an affirmative defense "is equally supported by the rule of necessity and convenience which provides that the burden of proving an exonerating fact may be imposed on a defendant if its existence is 'peculiarly' within his personal knowledge and proof of its nonexistence by the prosecution would be relatively difficult or inconvenient. Of course, this burden may not be unduly harsh or unfair...It is not unduly harsh or unfair to place the burden of proving authorized possession under Business and Professions Code section 4149 upon the defendant. This is a fact peculiarly within defendant's personal knowledge and relatively difficult for the prosecutor to disprove.")  Although this case specifically deals with possession of needles, it is analogous to a Business and Professions Code 25662 BP case in that both deal with authorized possession.")

15 California Business and Professions Code 25667 - Immunity from criminal prosecution under specified minor consumption provisions.  ("(a) Any person under the age of 21 years shall be immune from criminal prosecution under subdivision (a) of Section 25662 and subdivision (b) of Section 25658, where the person establishes all of the following: (1) The underage person called 911 and reported that either himself or herself or another person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption. (2) The underage person was the first person to make the 911 report. (3) The underage person, who reported that another person was in need of medical assistance, remained on the scene with the other person until that medical assistance arrived and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel on the scene. (b) This section shall not provide immunity from criminal prosecution for any offense that involves activities made dangerous by the consumption of alcoholic beverages, including, but not limited to, a violation of Section 23103 of the Vehicle Code, as specified by Section 23103.5 of the Vehicle Code, or a violation of Sections 23152 and 23153 of the Vehicle Code.")

16 See Business and Professions Code 25662 BC California's minor in possession law, endnote 1, above.

17 California Business and Professions Code 25666.5 - Violations by minors; participation in youthful drunk driver visitation program as term and condition of probation.  ("If a person is convicted of a violation of subdivision (b) of Section 25658, or Section 25658.5, 25661, or 25662 and is granted probation, the court may order, with the consent of the defendant, as a term and condition of probation, in addition to any other term and condition required or authorized by law, that the defendant participate in the program prescribed in Article 3 (commencing with Section 23509) of Chapter 12 of Division 11.5 of the Vehicle Code.")

18 California Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC - Drug and alcohol related offenses by person under age of 21, but aged 13 or over; suspension, delay, or restriction of driving privileges.  ("(a) For each conviction of a person for an offense specified in subdivision (d), committed while the person was under the age of 21 years, but 13 years of age or older, the court shall suspend the person's driving privilege for one year. If the person convicted does not yet have the privilege to drive, the court shall order the department to delay issuing the privilege to drive for one year subsequent to the time the person becomes legally eligible to drive. However, if there is no further conviction for an offense specified in subdivision (d) in a 12-month period after the conviction, the court, upon petition of the person affected, may modify the order imposing the delay of the privilege. For each successive offense, the court shall suspend the person's driving privilege for those possessing a license or delay the eligibility for those not in possession of a license at the time of their conviction for one additional year. As used in this section, the term "conviction" includes the findings in juvenile proceedings specified in Section 13105. (b) Whenever the court suspends driving privileges pursuant to subdivision (a), the court in which the conviction is had shall require all driver's licenses held by the person to be surrendered to the court. The court shall within 10 days following the conviction transmit a certified abstract of the conviction, together with any driver's licenses surrendered, to the department. (c)(1) After a court has issued an order suspending or delaying driving privileges pursuant to subdivision (a), the court, upon petition of the person affected, may review the order and may impose restrictions on the person's privilege to drive based upon a showing of a critical need to drive. (2) As used in this section, "critical need to drive" means the circumstances that are required to be shown for the issuance of a junior permit pursuant to Section 12513. (3) The restriction shall remain in effect for the balance of the period of suspension or restriction in this section. The court shall notify the department of any modification within 10 days of the order of modification. (d) This section applies to violations involving controlled substances or alcohol contained in the following provisions: (1) Article 7 (commencing with Section 4110) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of, and Sections 25658, 25658.5, 25661, and 25662 of, the Business and Professions Code. (2) Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code. (3) Section 191.5, subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 192.5, and subdivision (f) of Section 647 of the Penal Code. (4) Section 23103 when subject to Section 23103.5, Section 23140, and Article 2 (commencing with Section 23152) of Chapter 12 of Division 11 of this code. (e) Suspension, restriction, or delay of driving privileges pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any penalty imposed upon conviction of a violation specified in subdivision (d).")

19 See same.

20 California Vehicle Code 12513 VC - Junior permits; issuance.  ("(a) Upon application, successful completion of tests and compliance with Sections 17700 to 17705, inclusive, the department may issue a junior permit to any person 14 years of age, but less than 18, who establishes eligibility as required by this section. A person is eligible when, in the opinion of the department, any one or more of the following circumstances exist: School or other transportation facilities are inadequate for regular attendance at school and at activities authorized by the school. The application for a junior permit shall be accompanied by a signed statement from the school principal verifying such facts. A junior permit issued under this subsection shall be restricted to operating a vehicle from residence to the school and return. Reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by a minor is necessary due to illness of a family member. The application shall be accompanied by a signed statement from a physician familiar with the condition, containing a diagnosis and probable date when sufficient recovery will have been made to terminate the emergency. Transportation facilities are inadequate, and use of a motor vehicle is necessary in the transportation to and from the employment of the applicant and the applicant's income from such employment is essential in the support of the family, or where the applicant's operation of a motor vehicle is essential to an enterprise from which an appreciable portion of the income of the family will be derived. The application shall be accompanied by a signed statement from the parents or the guardian, setting forth the reasons a permit is necessary under this subsection. (b) The existence of public transportation at reasonable intervals within one mile of the residence of the applicant may be considered adequate grounds for refusal of a junior permit. (c) The department shall impose restrictions upon junior permits appropriate to the conditions and area under which they are intended to be used.")

21 California Business and Professions Code 25658 - Providing alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21; prohibition; criminal punishment; law enforcement decoys; additional punishment.  ("(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 years is guilty of a misdemeanor. (b) Except as provided in Section 25667, any person under the age of 21 years who purchases any alcoholic beverage, or any person under the age of 21 years who consumes any alcoholic beverage in any on-sale premises, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (c) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by purchasing any alcoholic beverage for, or furnishing, giving, or giving away any alcoholic beverage to, a person under the age of 21 years, and the person under the age of 21 years thereafter consumes the alcohol and thereby proximately causes great bodily injury or death to himself, herself, or any other  person, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (d) Any on-sale licensee who knowingly permits a person under the age of 21 years to consume any alcoholic beverage in the on-sale premises, whether or not the licensee has knowledge that the person is under the age of 21 years, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (e)(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2), (3), or Section 25667, any person who violates this section shall be punished by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250), no part of which shall be suspended, or the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours or more than 32 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed and is not attending school, or a combination of a fine and community service as determined by the court. A second or subsequent violation of subdivision (b), where prosecution of the previous violation was not barred pursuant to Section 25667, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or the person shall be required to perform not less than 36 hours or more than 48 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed and is not attending school, or a combination of a fine and community service as determined by the court. It is the intent of the Legislature that the community service requirements prescribed in this section require service at an alcohol or drug treatment program or facility or at a county coroner's office, if available, in the area where the violation occurred or where the person resides. (2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), any person who violates subdivision (a) by furnishing an alcoholic beverage, or causing an alcoholic beverage to be furnished, to a minor shall be punished by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), no part of which shall be suspended, and the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours of community service during hours when the person is not employed and is not attending school. (3) Any person who violates subdivision (c) shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a minimum term of six months not to exceed one year, by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both imprisonment and fine. (f) Persons under the age of 21 years may be used by peace officers in the enforcement of this section to apprehend licensees, or employees or agents of licensees, or other persons who sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to minors. Notwithstanding subdivision (b), any person under the age of 21 years who purchases or attempts to purchase any alcoholic beverage while under the direction of a peace officer is immune from prosecution for that purchase or attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage. Guidelines with respect to the use of persons under the age of 21 years as decoys shall be adopted and published by the department in accordance with the rulemaking portion of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). Law enforcement-initiated minor decoy programs in operation prior to the effective date of regulatory guidelines adopted by the department shall be authorized as long as the minor decoy displays to the seller of alcoholic beverages the appearance of a person under the age of 21 years. This subdivision shall not be construed to prevent the department from taking disciplinary action against a licensee who sells alcoholic beverages to a minor decoy prior to the department's final adoption of regulatory guidelines. After the completion of every minor decoy program performed under this subdivision, the law enforcement agency using the decoy shall notify licensees within 72 hours of the results of the program. When the use of a minor decoy results in the issuance of a citation, the notification required shall be given to licensees and the department within 72 hours of the issuance of the citation. A law enforcement agency may comply with this requirement by leaving a written notice at the licensed premises addressed to the licensee, or by mailing a notice addressed to the licensee. (g) The penalties imposed by this section do not preclude prosecution or the imposition of penalties under any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, Section 272 of the Penal Code and Section 13202.5 of the Vehicle Code.")

22 California Business and Professions Code 25658.2 - Parent or legal guardian who knowingly permits his or her child or person in company of child to consume alcoholic beverage or use controlled substance at his or her home.  ("(a) A parent or legal guardian who knowingly permits his or her child, or a person in the company of the child, or both, who are under the age of 18 years, to consume an alcoholic beverage or use a controlled substance at the home of the parent or legal guardian is guilty of misdemeanor if all of the following occur: (1) As the result of the consumption of an alcoholic beverage or use of a controlled substance at the home of the parent or legal guardian, the child or other underage person has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent or greater, as measured by a chemical test, or is under the influence of a controlled substance. (2) The parent knowingly permits that child or other underage person, after leaving the parent's or legal guardian's home, to drive a vehicle. (3) That child or underage person is found to have caused a traffic collision while driving the vehicle. (b) A person who violates subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a term not to exceed one year, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both imprisonment and fine.")

23 California Penal Code 272 PC - Contributing to delinquency of persons under 18 years; persuading, luring, or transporting minors 12 years of age or younger.  ("(a)(1) Every person who commits any act or omits the performance of any duty, which act or omission causes or tends to cause or encourage any person under the age of 18 years to come within the provisions of Section 300, 601, or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or which act or omission contributes thereto, or any person who, by any act or omission, or by threats, commands, or persuasion, induces or endeavors to induce any person under the age of 18 years or any ward or dependent child of the juvenile court to fail or refuse to conform to a lawful order of the juvenile court, or to do or to perform any act or to follow any course of conduct or to so live as would cause or manifestly tend to cause that person to become or to remain a person within the provisions of Section 300, 601, or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both fine and imprisonment in a county jail, or may be released on probation for a period not exceeding five years. (2) For purposes of this subdivision, a parent or legal guardian to any person under the age of 18 years shall have the duty to exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection, and control over their minor child. (b)(1) An adult stranger who is 21 years of age or older, who knowingly contacts or communicates with a minor who is under 14 years of age, who knew or reasonably should have known that the minor is under 14 years of age, for the purpose of persuading and luring, or transporting, or attempting to persuade and lure, or transport, that minor away from the minor's home or from any location known by the minor's parent, legal guardian, or custodian, to be a place where the minor is located, for any purpose, without the express consent of the minor's parent or legal guardian, and with the intent to avoid the consent of the minor's parent or legal guardian, is guilty of an infraction or a misdemeanor, subject to subdivision (d) of Section 17. (2) This subdivision shall not apply in an emergency situation. (3) As used in this subdivision, the following terms are defined to mean: (A) "Emergency situation" means a situation where the minor is threatened with imminent bodily harm, emotional harm, or psychological harm. (B) "Contact" or "communication" includes, but is not limited to, the use of a telephone or the Internet, as defined in Section 17538 of the Business and Professions Code. (C) "Stranger" means a person of casual acquaintance with whom no substantial relationship exists, or an individual with whom a relationship has been established or promoted for the primary purpose of victimization, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 6600 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. (D) "Express consent" means oral or written permission that is positive, direct, and unequivocal, requiring no inference or implication to supply its meaning. (4) This section shall not be interpreted to criminalize acts of persons contacting minors within the scope and course of their employment, or status as a volunteer of a recognized civic or charitable organization. (5) This section is intended to protect minors and to help parents and legal guardians exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection, and control over minor children.")

24 California Penal Code 647(f) PC - California's drunk in public law.  ("Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor...(f) Who is found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance, or toluene, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.")

25 California Vehicle Code 23224 VC - Possession of alcoholic beverage in vehicle; persons under 21; penalties.  ("(a) No person under the age of 21 years shall knowingly drive any motor vehicle carrying any alcoholic beverage, unless the person is accompanied by a parent, responsible adult relative, any other adult designated by the parent, or legal guardian for the purpose of transportation of an alcoholic beverage, or is employed by a licensee under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code), and is driving the motor vehicle during regular hours and in the course of the person's employment. If the driver was unaccompanied, he or she shall have a complete defense if he or she was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative, or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage. (b) No passenger in any motor vehicle who is under the age of 21 years shall knowingly possess or have under that person's control any alcoholic beverage, unless the passenger is accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative, any other adult designated by the parent, or legal guardian for the purpose of transportation of an alcoholic beverage, or is employed by a licensee under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code), and possession or control is during regular hours and in the course of the passenger's employment. If the passenger was unaccompanied, he or she shall have a complete defense if he or she was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage. (c) If the vehicle used in any violation of subdivision (a) or (b) is registered to an offender who is under the age of 21 years, the vehicle may be impounded at the owner's expense for not less than one day nor more than 30 days for each violation. (d) Any person under 21 years of age convicted of a violation of this section is subject to Section 13202.5. (e) Any person convicted for a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished upon conviction by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.")

26 California Vehicle Code 23136 VC - Blood alcohol concentration of .01 or greater; implied consent to testing; failure to submit to or complete testing.  ("(a) Notwithstanding Sections 23152 and 23153, it is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 years who has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or greater, as measured by a preliminary alcohol screening test or other chemical test, to drive a vehicle. However, this section shall not be a bar to prosecution under Section 23152 or 23153 or any other provision of law. (b) A person shall be found to be in violation of subdivision (a) if the person was, at the time of driving, under the age of 21 years, and the trier of fact finds that the person had consumed an alcoholic beverage and was driving a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or greater, as measured by a preliminary alcohol screening test or other chemical test. (c)(1) Any person under the age of 21 years who drives a motor vehicle is deemed to have given his or her consent to a preliminary alcohol screening test or other chemical test for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol in the person, if lawfully detained for an alleged violation of subdivision (a). (2) The testing shall be incidental to a lawful detention and administered at the direction of a peace officer having reasonable cause to believe the person was driving a motor vehicle in violation of subdivision (a). (3) The person shall be told that his or her failure to submit to, or the failure to complete, a preliminary alcohol screening test or other chemical test as requested will result in the suspension or revocation of the person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of one year to three years, as provided in Section 13353.1.")

27 California Vehicle Code 23140 VC - Persons under 21 years of age; blood-alcohol concentration of .05 or more; driving vehicle prohibited; abstract of record.  ("(a) It is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 years who has 0.05 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle. (b) A person may be found to be in violation of subdivision (a) if the person was, at the time of driving, under the age of 21 years and under the influence of, or affected by, an alcoholic beverage regardless of whether a chemical test was made to determine that person's blood-alcohol concentration and if the trier of fact finds that the person had consumed an alcoholic beverage and was driving a vehicle while having a concentration of 0.05 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood. (c) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, upon a finding that a person has violated this section, the clerk of the court shall prepare within 10 days after the finding and immediately forward to the department an abstract of the record of the court in which the finding is made. That abstract shall be a public record and available for public inspection in the same manner as other records reported under Section 1803.")

28 California Vehicle Code 23152 VC - Driving under influence; blood alcohol percentage; presumptions.  ("(a) It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle. (b) It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle. For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person's blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving. (c) It is unlawful for any person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code. (d) It is unlawful for any person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210. In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving. (e) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1992, and shall remain operative until the director determines that federal regulations adopted pursuant to the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (49 U.S.C. Sec. 2701 et seq.) contained in Section 383.51 or 391.15 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations do not require the state to prohibit operation of commercial vehicles when the operator has a concentration of alcohol in his or her blood of 0.04 percent by weight or more. (f) The director shall submit a notice of the determination under subdivision (e) to the Secretary of State, and this section shall be repealed upon the receipt of that notice by the Secretary of State.")

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