Youth Traffic Safety Month Highlights Dangers of Underage California DUI

Posted By Thomas V. Wallin || 17-May-2011

California DUIThroughout the month of May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is supporting initiatives aimed at enhancing driver safety awareness among teens and encouraging them to adopt safer driving practices.

The timing of Youth Traffic Safety Month coincides with the height of the prom and graduation season, which is often associated with a rise in the number of teen motor vehicle accidents, including DUI-related accidents.

This campaign is extremely important because teens between the ages of 15 and 19 are more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident than from any other cause.

Today, most teens have been educated about the dangers of drinking and driving through school-based programs, including the Every Fifteen Minutes Program. Unfortunately, some teens still ignore the dangers. Despite efforts to prevent California DUI among underage drivers, 1,260 drivers under the age of eighteen were still arrested for DUI in California in 2009.

To further understand the negative consequence of drinking and driving, underage drivers are encouraged to consider the legal consequences of a California DUI.

  • California's severeDUI penalties for underage drivers are some of the strictest in the nation.
  • Under California's "Zero Tolerance Law," anyone under 21 years of age with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.01 or greater will be charged with DUI.
  • For teens, this means that consuming just one alcoholic drink can lead to a DUI.

In addition to the penalties outlined above, a DUI arrest can have disastrous effects on an underage driver's current and future goals. High school students may be suspended from extracurricular activities. College applications and admissions can be negatively effected by a DUI conviction, as can future employment.

Given the severity of the consequences, if you or a friend or family member (son or daughter) has been arrested for underage DUI in California, you will need an experienced California DUI attorney.