DUI Under 21 in Orange County, CA

Are you facing charges for driving under the influence as a minor? Violation of Penal Code 23140 is an infraction. However, minors can face the same misdemeanor charges as adults based on California’s zero tolerance policy. At MacGregor & Collins, LLP, our DUI lawyers know that minors who are caught driving while under the influence are rarely bad kids. More often than not, they just need a break. With our attorneys’ 40 years of combined experience, you can count on a MacGregor & Collins, LLP legal professional to help you and yours avoid maximum penalties. Call 888-250-2865 for a free case evaluation and consultation.


What is Penal Code 23140?


According to California Penal Code 23140, anyone under 21 who drives while under the influence, or who has consumed any amount of alcohol, can be convicted of violating PC 23140.


In order for prosecutors to successfully convict a minor for violating CPC 23140, they must establish the following:


  • The minor was driving a vehicle
  • The minor was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • The minor had a blood alcohol count of 0.01% or higher (as opposed to 0.08% for adults)


A large number of those who contact us for our legal services pertaining to PC 23140 do not understand why they were found in violation. This is usually because a minor’s blood alcohol content does not have to be 0.08% or above to be a violation.


The following could be used as an example of a person who violated penal code 23140:


Sarah, a 16-year-old sophomore, is at a party with friends and drinks 3 beers. Sarah knows she is intoxicated, so she goes to sleep for a few hours and then drives home. On her way home, a police officer pulls her over and has her perform a field sobriety test. Sarah is still a little sleepy, so she does not do so well. The officer has her use a breathalyzer, which shows that Sarah’s blood alcohol content is 0.011%. The police officer calls Sarah’s parents and cites her for violating PC 23140 since she is a minor and was driving with a BAC of 0.01% or higher.


Penalties for Minors Who Drive Under the Influence


Infraction Charges for DUI Offenders Under 21:


  • A fine of up to $300


Infractions are categorized by minors driving under the influence with a blood alcohol count of 0.05-0.07%.


Due to California’s zero tolerance law, minors who drive under the influence with a BAC of 0.01% or more are also subject to other penalties including:


  • If you have yet to obtain your driver’s license, your ability to drive may be delayed an additional year.


Minors who have a BAC of 0.08% or greater will face misdemeanor charges, in addition to an infraction. The penalties for DUI minor misdemeanors include:


  • Up to six months in jail
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • Informal probation between 3-5 years
  • DUI school
  • License suspension of up to 6 months


Potential Penalties:


Minors who have not yet received their driver’s license won’t be granted one until one year has lapsed. Repeat offenders face higher fines and penalties. Minors may also be ordered to participate in a youth visitation program.


If you are facing DUI charges for California Penal Code Section 23152 or 23140 as a minor, the DUI defense attorneys at MacGregor & Collins can help you. We will bring superior legal experience to aid you in this challenging time. Call us today at (888) 250-2865 and you will receive a free consultation from an experienced legal professional.


Are you an adult who accidentally hurt someone while driving under the influence? Click on VC 23153 for DUI with injury info.

Free Consultation

Criminal Defense Guides