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Juvenile Driving Under the Influence, Underage DUI

A DUI (driving under the influence), otherwise known as “drunk driving”, refers to the operation of a motor vehicle while the operator is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs with their ability to drive safely being in question. In addition, there is a “Zero Tolerance” law for drivers under the age of 21, meaning that even drivers that possess a BAC of under 0.08% will face charges for drunk driving. An example of this crime would be a person going to a bar in order to have a few drinks. After leaving the bar, on their way home, they are stopped by an officer for running a red light. The officer approaches them, only to notice the smell of alcohol on their breath, prompting the officer to give that person a breathalyzer test. The test reports that the person’s BAC is above the legal limit in their state and that person would be arrested. A common defense for the crime is that the operator was not under the influence, even if their BAC (blood alcohol content) was at or over 0.08%. For example, one could argue that the operator, who may or may not possess a BAC of over 0.08%, may not be guilty of a DUI, based on impairment because of the lack of evidence that their drinking affected their driving.

If you happen to find you or your loved one charged with juvenile driving under the influence, contact us to discuss the ramifications. The DMV could suspend the person’s driver’s license and may require classes and other rehabilitation before retaining the driver’s license. The juvenile court can also impose fines and fees as well as probation. As a result of the adjudication, the driver may need to breathe into an alcohol device before driving. The inconvenience of not having a license can result in difficulties getting to school and work.

Another frequent charge our office sees involving juvenile driving under the influence is when a driver is under the influence of marijuana or prescription drugs like benzodiazepines or opiates. The first important question will be whether the young driver demonstrated impaired driving. That is because it can be more difficult for the prosecution to prove impaired driving and the state of California has yet to set a legal limit for these substances. At a trial, a criminalist will have to testify based on the results of a drug test and indicate that the levels or quantity of the drug in the blood would have impaired the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. Because each person metabolizes drugs differently and may have a tolerance, poor driving would be the most important indicators.

For a client charged with being under the influence of drugs, it is important to determine whether that individual had a valid prescription for the drug of if the impairment was a sign of drug abuse. Some courts will work with drivers who seek treatment in lieu of custody or jail time. In many cases, taking care of the drug problem will be the first step to getting a handle on the problem. Our office works with clients to refer them to treatment if that is what they seek. We can help you improve your legal situation and improve your life if that is what it takes.

Commercial Drivers DUI in Aliso Viejo

In Aliso Viejo and California, if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you are held to a higher set of standards than any other driver because of how you are more qualified and how the license is supposed to demonstrate your competent driving abilities as a professional. In order to obtain a commercial driver’s license, you must possess specific knowledge and be able to demonstrate certain professional skills that the normal driver’s license owner would not have to know or do. The very purpose for the creation of a commercial driver’s license was to ensure that only the most qualified and safe drivers were being allowed to commercially operate vehicles. Whereas other drivers require a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher in order to be arrested for a DUI, a CDL holder’s BAC only needs to be 0.04% or higher to be arrested.

Accordingly, penalties for CDL holders who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs are also higher or stiffer. CDL holders who drive HAZMAT or hazardous material vehicles face even stiffer penalties than CDL holders who drive other commercial vehicles.

CDL Holders Are Held to a Higher Standard

According to California Vehicle Code (CVC), 23152 and 23153 (d) it is an offence by a CDL holder to drive with a BAC of 0.04%. The CVC has further nuances that a CDL holder should have in mind including:

  1. The court will assume you were driving under the influence if you were tested within three hours after driving and found to have a BAC of 0.04% or more.
  2. If you are tested and found to have a BAC of 0.01% or higher, you will be ordered to be out of service for 24 hours. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is authorized to adopt and enforce rules and regulations to carry out this duty.
  3. If you violate the administrative regulations set by the CHP in (2) above, then you will be cited for an infraction.
  4. If you are a CDL holder who operates common carriers, for example, streetcars, trains, airplanes or boats, then you are outlawed from drinking or using drugs in operating such vehicles. A BAC of 0.01% is presumed to be intoxication.

If you have any questions or if you are arrested for Commercial Drivers DUI, then you should call a competent DUI attorney to represent you and find the best possible outcome to your case.

Contact the Johnson Criminal Law Group today to defend your license and retain your livelihood now!

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