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What Blood Alcohol Level in a Minor Can Result in a Ventura County, California DUI?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 09, 2016 | 0 Comments

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Police and prosecutors have little tolerance for people who drive under the influence of alcohol in Ventura County, California. But if you are under 21, they have zero tolerance. Any detectable amount of alcohol in your system could get you charged with and convicted for a Ventura County DUI.

California Vehicle Code Section 23136 is California's “zero tolerance” DUI law for drivers under the state's legal drinking age. That code section makes it illegal for anyone under 21:

  • To drive,
  • With a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01% or greater,
  • After consuming an alcoholic beverage.

.01% - think about that. Getting behind the wheel with even a trace amount of alcohol, consumed many hours prior, is enough to get you charged with DUI. Keep in mind that “alcoholic beverage” means anything that contains alcohol, not just beer, wine, or liquor. You could have .01% of alcohol in your system from such things as:

  • Cough syrups and nighttime cold formulas such as Nyquil,
  • Topical mouth numbing ointments, and
  • Homeopathic medicines.

BAC for a standard or underage DUI is measured by a post-arrest DUI chemical (blood or breath) test. But for purposes of California's “zero tolerance” law, BAC may be measured by a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. For drivers 21 and over, taking While a PAS test is usually optional. For drivers over 21, drivers younger than 21 are deemed to have given their “implied consent” to a PAS test if they are suspected of driving under the influence. If you refuse to take a PAS test, the DMV will automatically suspend your driver's license for one year.

Ventura County DUI charges for minors under 21 come with steep penalties upon conviction. You could face additional criminal charges as well if your BAC is .08% or higher, including:

  • Driving with a BAC of .05% or greater (VC 23140),
  • Driving with a BAC of .08% or greater (VC 23152b), AND
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (VC 23152a, c, or d).

Whether you are 19, 29, or 59 years old, a conviction for a Ventura County DUI can upend your life, cost you thousands of dollars, and result in jail time. Our experienced Ventura County DUI attorneys will fight tirelessly to keep that from happening. 

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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