California DUI LAW

California counties - map view

California counties - map view



California Vehicle Code VC 23224 - Possession of Alcohol in Vehicle: Person Under 21.

23224. (a) No person under the age of 21 years shall knowingly drive any motor vehicle carrying any alcoholic beverage, unless the person is accompanied by a parent, responsible adult relative, any other adult designated by the parent, or legal guardian for the purpose of transportation of an alcoholic beverage, or is employed by a licensee under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code), and is driving the motor vehicle during regular hours and in the course of the person's employment. If the driver was unaccompanied, he or she shall have a complete defense if he or she was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative, or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage.

(b) No passenger in any motor vehicle who is under the age of 21 years shall knowingly possess or have under that person's control any alcoholic beverage, unless the passenger is accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative, any other adult designated by the parent, or legal guardian for the purpose of transportation of an alcoholic beverage, or is employed by a licensee under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code), and possession or control is during regular hours and in the course of the passenger's employment. If the passenger was unaccompanied, he or she shall have a complete defense if he or she was following, in a timely manner, the reasonable instructions of his or her parent, legal guardian, responsible adult relative or adult designee relating to disposition of the alcoholic beverage.

(c) If the vehicle used in any violation of subdivision (a) or (b) is registered to an offender who is under the age of 21 years, the vehicle may be impounded at the owner's expense for not less than one day nor more than 30 days for each violation.

(d) Any person under 21 years of age convicted of a violation of this section is subject to Section 13202.5.

(e) Any person convicted for a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished upon conviction by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Amended Ch. 1697, Stats. 1990. Effective January 1, 1991.
Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 690, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.

<< California Vehicle Codes index page


California DUI arrests (also known as DWI) trigger two separate cases: the DMV action, where a person's driving privileges hang in the balance, and the court case, where a variety of DUI punishment is available. For anyone charged with drunk driving in California, it is vital to note that persons arrested for DUI have only 10 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing with the DMV. If someone arrested for drunk driving does not request the hearing on time, his or her license will be suspended, automatically, on the 30th day following the arrest. It is critical for anyone charged with a California DUI or other drunk driving offense to obtain the services of a California DUI lawyer that understands the relationship between the court and DMV.

 (800) 384-5297

Find an Attorney

*Up to 3 attorneys will contact you

Please let me know about DUI auto insurance

Privacy policy