UNDER 21 DUI LAW
There are specific laws in California for persons under 21 who are arrested for DUI. Just like with people over 21, there are two separate prosecutions: the D.M.V. (where you can have your license taken away and suspended) and the criminal court (where you can be fined, put in jail, given alcohol education classes, community service, etc., depending on the facts of your case). However, the punishment is more severe for persons under 21, especially with the D.M.V. under California’s “Zero Tolerance” laws.
California’s “Zero Tolerance” laws make things a lot tougher on those people under 21 who are caught driving with any hint of impairment due to alcohol. The under 21 driver can have their driver’s license taken away by the D.M.V. if their blood alcohol content is .01 percent or greater; they can be charged with a violation of California Vehicle Code section 23140 (DUI for persons under 21) if their blood alcohol content is .05 percent or greater; and .08 percent or more they can be charged under the same DUI laws as persons over 21, all at the same time.
Since the penalties and consequences for persons under 21 are so severe, it is important to have an experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive attorney on your side. The transgressions we make in our early days can affect us for years to come. But many DUI’s can be successfully defended, and you would be wise to contact someone who knows this area of the law.
You may be interested to know that many people arrested for DUI were pulled over for non-DUI reasons! Perhaps you were speeding, but driving perfectly straight with no weaving whatsoever. Maybe you had a busted taillight and the officer pulled you over to issue you a citation. Maybe you weren’t even driving, but had pulled over to the side of the road and the officer came upon you. None of these reasons, and many others, prove that you cannot drive with the characteristics of a sober person.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has produced a guide for detecting drunk drivers at night. These are the 20 signs that officers look for when determining whether to investigate for DUI:
· turning with wide radius
· straddling center of lane marker
· appearing to be drunk (based upon posture, gestures, etc.)
· almost striking object or vehicle
· driving on other than designated roadway
· swerving · speed (more than 10 miles below legal limit)
· stopping without cause in traffic lane
· following too closely
· tires on center or lane marker
· braking erratically
· driving into opposing or crossing traffic
· signaling inconsistent with driving actions
· slow response to traffic signals
· stopping inappropriately (other than in a lane)
· turning abruptly or illegally
· accelerating or decelerating rapidly
· headlights off
If you were pulled over for a reason other than these top 20 clues, THIS IS POWERFUL IN THE HANDS OF AN AGGRESSIVE, KNOWLEDGEABLE DEFENSE ATTORNEY. If you were only speeding, this is not necessarily DUI. SPEEDING IS NOT ONE OF THE TOP 20 CLUES OF D.U.I. This is powerful in the hands of a competent defense attorney if your D.U.I. came from a stop for traffic violation only!
Please, before you even think of pleading guilty to a DUI, talk to a lawyer in your area that is experienced in defending these types of cases.
If you were weaving, a good defense attorney will try and straighten you out. Maybe you weaved driving, but you pulled over to the side of the road perfectly. Maybe you weaved to avoid an object in the road, but then drove fine.
Talk to a lawyer who is experienced in defending these types of cases before you do anything else.