California VC § 23140 penalizes drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC of .05% or above. While adult drivers enjoy the higher BAC limit of .08%, drivers under the age of 21 face a lower alcohol limit. If you or a loved one have been charged under VC § 23140 you need a Sacramento DUI attorney with knowledge of underage DUI law.
California Vehicle Code Section 23140
To be charged under California Vehicle Code § 23140 two elements must exist. One, you are under the age of 21. Two, you were operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .05% or greater. To establish your blood alcohol content the police officer will conduct a preliminary alcohol screening test either roadside or at the police station. The results of this test will serve as evidence against you in later criminal proceedings.
Being arrested for a crime does not mean you are guilty of the offense. Your DUI attorney will mount a defense against the underage DUI charge through the following methods. First, your DUI lawyer will question whether the arresting officer had reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or criminal conduct to seize your vehicle through a traffic stop. Absent reasonable suspicion for the stop any consequent evidence is inadmissible and cannot support a DUI conviction. Second, your DUI lawyer will evaluate the calibration and maintenance of the testing device. Remember, a necessary element for a conviction under VC § 23140 is that the driver operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .05% or above. To establish a BAC of .05% or above the prosecution will rely on the results of the preliminary alcohol screening test. If the device was not appropriately calibrated or maintained the results may be unreliable and insufficient to support a DUI conviction.