California’s DUI laws can be complex and confusing. In this section, our attorneys break down the rules and explain the process.
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California Business and Professions Code (BPC) 25662 makes it a misdemeanor for individuals under the age of 21 to be in possession of an alcoholic beverage in a public place or place open to the public.
While it is common knowledge that underage drinking is a crime, there is more to know about underage drinking laws in Orange County, CA
Punishment for the first conviction of this offense may result in a $250 fine and 24 to 32 hours of community service.
A second or subsequent offense may result in one or more of the following penalties.
This means that blood alcohol content is not relevant to this crime. Further, possession does not require that the underage person have the alcoholic beverage in his or her hands. The legal definition of possession can also mean that the underage person had or shared control with another over the beverage.
Under BP 25662, it is not unlawful for minors to be in the possession of alcohol if they are following reasonable instructions from an adult relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage. This can include:
California Business and Professions Code 25667 gives immunity from criminal prosecution for possession of an alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 years who meets the following conditions:
A number of cities in Orange County have passed social host ordinances, including Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, La Habra, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Orange, and Irvine. Violators of the ordinances may face fines and misdemeanor criminal charges.
There are defenses to criminal charges related to underage drinking. Contact us for a legal consultation.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.