DUI charges in California vary depending on whether you are under 21 years of age or not. If you are under 21, California has a "Zero Tolerance Law" that allows the police to charge you with DUI if your Blood Alcohol Level is .01% or higher. By way of example, one 12 ounce beer or a four ounce glass of wine will get you to the .01% limit.
If your Blood Alcohol Level is .05% or higher, the police can charge you with both "Underage DUI" and "Regular DUI." In this case, if convicted you will most likely be arrested, have your car confiscated, have to attend driving safety classes, have your license suspended and pay thousands in fines.
If you are under 18 years of age, a DUI conviction will cause you to lose your license for the greater of either one year or until you reach the age of 18.
Many underage DUI's occur when the driver is stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. California allows the police to set up a sobriety checkpoint, but requires the police to follow certain guidelines to do so. Failure of the police to set up a proper sobriety checkpoint could require that your DUI charges be dropped.
Attacking a Sobriety Checkpoint DUI Arrest
Among the ways to attack a sobriety checkpoint DUI arrest are:
(1) the stop must be made by applying a neutral formula and not simply based on an officer's whim;
(2) only supervisors are authorized to set up the location of a checkpoint;
(3) limitation on the time and duration of the checkpoint;
(4) the checkpoint must be safe for motorists;
(5) if the person being stopped does not show signs of impairment, he or she must be allowed to move on.