How An Underage DUI Conviction Will Impact Your Future
Most people’s teenage years and early adult lives are filled with mistakes- some big and some small. However, being convicted of a DUI as a minor is one of the most serious mistakes you can make. The consequences of an underage DUI go beyond the fines and mandatory classes. Having an under 21 DUI on your record can impact many different aspects of your life.
California Underage DUI Laws
California, like all other states, has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. According to California Penal Code 23140, if any amount of alcohol (.01% BAC or higher) is detected by a breathalyzer, the minor will be charged with an underage DUI.
If the minor’s blood alcohol content is .08% or higher, they may face standard DUI penalties instead of underage DUI penalties.
Not only are the penalties more severe, but a standard DUI is a criminal offense, whereas an underage DUI is typically handled administratively.
An underage DUI won’t result in jail time.
Instead, the driver faces:
- A fine of a $100-$300
- Mandatory DUI school
- License suspension
If the driver has not yet gotten their driver’s license, being charged with an underage DUI will also delay their ability to get their license for one year. For example, if they were eligible to take their driver’s license test in September 2021, they will not be eligible in September 2022.
If the driver blows a .08% or higher, the penalties become much more severe.
The underage driver then faces:
- Possible jail time up to six months
- Over $1,000 in fines and fees
- Mandatory DUI school
- Probation for up to five years
- A six-month license suspension
Not only can underage DUI be expensive and lead to criminal charges, but it can impact your opportunities in the future.
Being convicted of an underage DUI can result in you being ineligible for college scholarships. You could also lose any sports or academic scholarships you currently have.
Additionally, some universities have student codes of conduct that prohibit criminal activity. If arrested and convicted of DUI, you may face additional consequences from your school.
However, one good thing to note is that an alcohol-related DUI conviction is unlikely to affect your FAFSA. If there are other drugs involved, though, your FAFSA eligibility may be affected as well.
The cost of insurance is not top of mind for most teenagers and college students. It is important to be aware, though, of the impacts of DUI on insurance rates.
If the minor is on a family insurance program, the premium cost could triple after an underage DUI.
If they are on their own car insurance, they could see an increase of about $500 per month on their insurance.
Luckily, an underage DUI conviction likely won’t prevent you from getting a job. However, it is something that will show up on a background check and will be taken into consideration.
Your conviction may be more of a hindering factor if you are looking to start a career working in healthcare, law, or education.
Don’t Drink And Drive
The best way to avoid these consequences is by not drinking and driving at any age.
Not only is drinking under the influence risking criminal consequences, but it’s also risking your health and the safety of others.
Under 21 DUI Defense
At Law Offices of Randy Collins, we are ready to fight for your or your child’s future. We understand that mistakes happen, but they shouldn’t impact the rest of your life. Give us a call today at (844) 285-9559 to set up a free consultation with our California DUI attorneys.