A Redwood City DUI Lawyer Explains Underage DUI

Posted on May 14, 2013


California has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against individuals under age 21 caught driving under the influence. As your Redwood City DUI lawyer will more thoroughly explain, an underage DUI conviction can leave lasting and devastating effects, including difficulty obtaining a job or passing a background check. If you are facing an underage DUI charge, do not delay. Retaining a Redwood City DUI lawyer as quickly as possible is the best possible strategy as you begin your defense against these serious charges.

Understanding the Administrative Per Se License Suspension

California lawmakers took a strong stand against underage drinking and driving by enacting its Zero Tolerance policy in 1994. Under these laws, any individual under age 21 who is detained and/or arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence will lose his or her driver’s license automatically for either (i) a blood-alcohol content above .01% as reported by a preliminary screening test, or (ii) refusing to take a preliminary screening test. Your Redwood City DUI lawyer can help you go through the steps to regain your driving privileges, however this process is often complex and the DMV is not in a hurry to restore driving privileges to underage drivers.

What Happens After the Arrest?

You will be given a temporary license and your driver’s license will be sent directly to the DMV. Within 30 days of your arrest, the DMV will review your file, including the officer’s sworn police affidavit. If the DMV determines that there is no basis for the automatic suspension, your license will be returned to you. If, however, cause exists to suspend your driving privileges, your license will be suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of your case. As always, a Redwood City DUI attorney will walk you through the steps of this process, including the DMV hearing.

Redwood City DUI Lawyer Explains the DMV Hearing

Your Redwood City DUI attorney will request a hearing from the DMV, which must be done within ten days of your arrest. At the hearing, the following issues are discussed:

  • Whether the arresting officer had valid reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence before stopping you
  • Whether your arrest and detention were lawful under rules of criminal procedure
  • Whether, at the time of your arrest, you were in fact (i) under age 21; (ii) driving the vehicle; (iii) under the influence of alcohol

If you refused the preliminary screening test, the hearing will center on the above issues as well as whether you were informed of the consequences of refusing a test. Your Redwood City DUI lawyer will present the facts of your case and craft a defense so as to give you the best possible chance of regaining driving privileges.

Contact a Redwood City DUI Lawyer Today

The attorneys at Silveira Law can help you with your underage DUI case by providing an experienced and competent Redwood City DUI attorney. Keep in mind, the above describes only the DMV-related steps of the underage DUI process and your case will also include criminal and possibly civil components. For more information or to make an appointment, call (415) 795-3890.