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Does California have a zero tolerance law?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2022 | DUI

When it comes to drunk driving laws, it’s true that the general blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08%. But different classes of drivers can have very different standards. For instance, in most states, commercial drivers have a lower BAC limit.

Another way that this is applied is by using zero tolerance laws for those who are under 21 years old. If someone is under 21, then simply taking a breath test and having any alcohol at all in their system can be enough to trigger a DUI charge. Is this how it works in California?

It could be an immediate license suspension

California does have one of these laws, saying that even registering 0.01% can be enough for an arrest if the driver is a minor. This will trigger an immediate license suspension.

These laws have been designed with the legal drinking limit in mind, of course, and they are seen as an effort to combat underage drinking. Someone who isn’t yet 21 shouldn’t have consumed alcohol at all, so the presence of any alcohol in their system is seen as a greater offense than someone who is legally drinking and just shouldn’t have gotten in the car.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of downsides to the system, as well. For instance, an underage driver who unknowingly consumes a spiked drink may have a very low BAC that doesn’t impact their driving, but they could still technically be arrested on DUI charges. Those who find themselves facing legal charges can benefit greatly from seeking legal guidance from an experienced criminal defense attorney in California