Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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How does a juvenile DUI differ from an adult charge?

For both adults and juveniles, driving a car with a blood-alcohol content higher than the legal limit is illegal in California. However, the BAC is different for those who are over 21 years old than for those who are younger. The consequences of a DUI conviction also differ for these two age groups.

For example, the BAC for a 21-year-old driver behind the wheel of a personally owned vehicle is .08, meaning that anything higher is above the legal limit. This is much lower for juveniles, where the BAC standard is only .01 percent. While adults are permitted to have some level of alcohol in their system and still be legal to drive, juveniles are considered to be driving under the influence with any alcohol in their system period.

Adults charged with a DUI face having their license suspended for at least four months as well as fines, time spent behind bars and even an ignition interlock device. A juvenile first offense results in a one year license suspension, much longer than the typical first offense suspension for an adult. While juveniles typically do not face jail time for a first DUI, they will likely have to attend DUI school and pay off steep fines.

In general, juvenile DUI offenders will have their licenses suspended for longer than their adult counterparts. A DUI conviction can also put an adult behind bars for a period of time, whereas a juvenile may instead be ordered to community service. Ultimately, both adults and juveniles charged with a DUI have a lot on the line. From education to work opportunities, a DUI conviction can permanently alter the course of a person's future. California defendants can likely benefit from reviewing the charges alongside their counsel before making any concrete decisions on how to move forward.

Source: dmv.org, "DUI & DWI in California", Accessed on May 24, 2015

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