With prom in the not too distant past and graduation in the immediate future many Southern California teens have found reason to celebrate. During the teenage/high school years most teens are confronted with the decision whether to consume alcohol. So before you decide whether alcohol should be part of your high school celebration consider the following summary of the California "zero tolerance" alcohol law:
Teenage DUI Penalties
In California, any measurable alcohol in a driver younger than 21 years of age will result in an automatic one-year suspension of driving privileges. A blood alcohol content of .05 percent, roughly two drinks, is a criminal offense for an underage driver (the blood alcohol content of .08 percent applies to adults only). More than 2,000 underage drivers are involved in alcohol-related death and injury crashes annually. In addition to up to 48 hours in jail and three years probation, young offenders are required to attend a 15-week DUI course and can be ordered to make restitution for any physical or property damage they cause.
Suggestions From The Auto Club
The Automobile Club of Southern California has made three simple suggestions to prevent teenage alcohol related death, injuries and criminal behavior. First, find out whether your school or town has a "Safe Ride" program. You should do this before the celebration begins. Write down any telephone numbers you might need to call and keep them in your purse or wallet.
Second, don't get into a car with someone who has been drinking. This may be a difficult thing to avoid but it could save your life. Remember, the worst sober driver is safer than the best drunk driver.
Third, call a taxi, take a bus or get a friend to drive you home if you have been drinking. Make this decision before you begin drinking. Most DUI accidents are caused by someone who didn't think he or she had had too many drinks.
Suggestions From A Practicing DUI Lawyer
If you are involved in a DUI accident exercise your Miranda rights and do not say anything to anyone until you speak to your attorney.