It’s no secret that underage drinking and driving is a serious problem; one that can lead to serious injury, property damage, and even loss of life. Knowing the law – and what will happen to you if you break it – is an essential first step to avoiding this dangerous crime.
California is a zero-tolerance state, meaning you simply don’t drink and drive. There’s no get out of jail card for the underage drinker, unless you’re calling to report a medical emergency for another underage drinker.
You are looking at jail time, a fine, and license suspension which can be costly for you or your family in more ways than one. You could also be looking at a range of additional charges from using a false ID to purchase alcohol, to distributing alcohol to other minors if your friends are in the car with you and also drunk.
At best, your insurance premiums will rise – perhaps by as much as $200 per month, and at worst, your insurance company will terminate your policy and refuse to insure you further. You will also have to provide proof that your license has been reinstated at the end of the suspension so that they know you’re insurable once again.
What to do?
Good legal advice is essential, although the best advice if you have broken the law is to submit to it. For example, if you refuse a blood or urine test without good medical reason, you are automatically looking at losing your license for at least a year.