What are the legal consequences of underage drinking and driving?

If you have been caught drinking and driving in California and are under the legal age of consumption, then you will face stiff penalties from the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is important to understand that the DMV notes whatever underage drinking penalties it imposes are in addition to anything that may be imposed by the court.

When you are pulled over or otherwise caught driving under the influence of alcohol as a minor, you cannot have a blood alcohol content of 0.01 percent or more. If you are at or over that percentage, you will immediately lose your license. Do note that if you refuse to take a BAC test that it will result in you immediately losing your license as if you failed the test. In either case, the officer in charge will take your license from you at the scene. He or she will then give you a temporary license. This temporary license can be used for 30 days. The officer may also give you a suspension/revocation order or one will be mailed to you. This will outline the terms of your suspension as imposed by the DMV, including the effective date.

The DMV will review the officer’s report and any evidence to determine if the suspension will stand. You can request a hearing within 10 days if you would like to fight the suspension. If no evidence is found to support the findings of the officer by the DMV, then the suspension will be lifted.  Otherwise, to get your license back after a suspension, you have to provide proof of insurance and carry that insurance for three years. You must also pay a $100 fee to the DMV. This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

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