A 13-year-old Wisconsin girl is facing charges after she was caught driving her mother’s car while under the influence.
On August 13th, Manitowoc police pulled over a vehicle driving without headlights on. The driver, whose name was not released because of her age, had five passengers with her, all under the age of 14-years-old.
“She seemed a little impaired by [the officer’s judgment], [and] when he asked for [the driver’s] license, she said she didn’t’ have one,” said Manitowoc Police Deputy Chief Bridget Brennan. The reason the girl did not have her license was because she was only 13-years-old.
According to police, she failed field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest.
“It’s very uncommon for someone that young to be driving and to be caught driving under the influence,” said Brennan.
While it might be uncommon for someone that young to be caught driving under the influence, it is not uncommon for minors under the age 21 to be caught driving under the influence.
California Vehicle Code section 23156, otherwise known as California’s “Zero-Tolerance” law, provides that if a person under the age of 21 drives with a blood alcohol content of 0.01 percent or more, it a civil offense which triggers a one year license suspension by the DMV. If the person does not have a license, a violation of section 23156 will trigger a one year delay in obtaining a license.
If a person under the age of 21 is caught driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent or more, they have violated California Vehicle Code section 23140, sometimes referred to as “Underage DUI.” A violation of this section results in an infraction punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense and a one year license suspension by the DMV. If the minor is over the age of 18, they can subject to a mandatory alcohol education program.
If a person under the age of 21 is caught driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher or they are under the influence they are subject to California’s standard DUI law, California Vehicle Code section 23152.