What happens when an underage driver causes a DUI crash in Fresno?

Fresno, CA – Even though it is illegal for people under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, it still happens and these young people can potentially cause an accident while intoxicated. The person can possibly be both charged criminally and sued in civil court in these situations as well. Anyone who has been harmed by an underage driver can meet with a local lawyer to get more focused legal advice about lawsuits and other matters. 


Criminal penalties for underage drivers


There is zero tolerance for alcohol consumption among underage drivers in California, California’s DUI laws say that a driver under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI if there is any alcohol in their bloodstream at all when they are tested. They do not need to be above the standard legal limit for alcohol of .08 blood alcohol concentration. The driver can face all of the same penalties as a legal adult such as a driver’s license suspension, jail time, and fines. When someone is hurt or killed in the accident, the driver responsible can face more serious criminal charges through a felony case. 


Suing drunk drivers to pay for damage


Accident attorneys in Fresno can also work with victims of drunk drivers to try to get compensation through the civil courts. This compensation tends to vary based on how severely the person was harmed, and it is not dependent on the person being convicted of a DUI offense in the criminal court system. The defendant will owe costs related to medical treatment, time away from work, and pain and suffering for causing these problems. It is more likely that those costs will be paid out through a settlement agreement than a full trial in court. 

Civil lawsuits against drivers who are minors

If a minor is named as a defendant for causing a car accident, it may be possible to attach their parents or legal guardian as the defendant in the civil case. This is often done because the minor would not be able to pay out damages from their own money and assets. However, there are some complexities in California law that deal with negligent supervision by parents in these kinds of situations where a minor is involved in causing an accident. Auto insurance issues may come into play as well depending on the policy that covers the driver who caused the crash. Specific advice should be obtained from an attorney before deciding whether to take legal action against a minor or not depending on the specific facts surrounding the crash. 

More help after a DUI accident in California

USAttorneys.com works to get people connected with the right lawyer in their area. Anyone who needs help locating a legal professional 800-672-3103

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