CA Vehicle Code 23140 VC
VC 23140 – Under 21 Driving with a BAC between .05-.07%
Under 21 Driving with BAC between .05-.07% – Table of Contents
What is the definition of violating Vehicle Code 23140 VC?
It is a violation for a person under the age of 21 years of age to drive a vehicle under the influence of, or affected by, alcohol, with an alcohol content (BAC) level between .05 and .07 percent.
Why is it necessary for the BAC to be between .05 and .07 percent under Vehicle Code 23140 VC?
A BAC of .05 percent is the recommended minimum level of alcohol impairment for those under 21 years of age. It is presumed that drivers under the age of 21 years of age pose a greater risk when under the influence of alcohol thereby mandating a lower BAC requirement.
Is their strict liability or a statutory mandate of punishment because of a driver’s age under Vehicle Code 23140 VC?
Yes, it is a Zero Tolerance Statute. If the driver is detected to be under the influence of alcohol, an officer, after verifying the driver’s age to be under 21 years of age, can warrant an arrest with a Field Sobriety Test (FST).iv As a result of the legislative intent of maintaining driver safety from youthful drivers that are reckless, a chemical test is not required, but an FST is mandatory.
What is a Field Sobriety Test?
Field Sobriety Tests (FST) are roadside exercises utilized by police officers to determine probable cause for driver impairment while operating a vehicle.
There are three basic tests:
What does blood alcohol content mean and represent for Vehicle Code 23140 VC?
BAC measures the amount of alcohol in your blood stream. It is measured in milligrams (1/1,000th of a gram of weight). When alcohol is consumed it mixes into the blood and is distributed by tissue through the human body by water. When consumed by the mouth, it is digested by the stomach then travels through the small intestines to the liver to distill the toxin and is placed back into the blood stream through the right side of the heart.
This process establishes the BAC levels detected by police when they assess impairment. BAC itself is affected by a person’s age, weight, dietary supplements, medication and metabolic rate. The rate of this process is how Blood Alcohol Equivalents (BAE) are established. Typically for a 170-pound man and a 130-pound woman above 21 years of age a BAC of .08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood in the body.
How is BAC calculated for all Vehicle Code violations under Vehicle Code 23140 VC?
In the scientific community, the most consistent and proven formula to determine BAC is the Widmark Formula.
The basic equation for a man is:
(A)(D)(5.14) / (Wt)(.73)
The basic equation for a woman is:
(A)(D)(5.14) / (Wt)(.66)
The explanations for the variables in the equation are:
A= Alcohol consumed in ounces;
D= % of Alcohol written as a decimal;
Wt= The weight of a person in pounds;
5.14= is the conversion ratio required to convert universal rates of liquid ounces to express a rate of toxicity diffused out of the body in both men and women as a constant;
.73= Is the conversion formula of toxicity dissipation for all categories of men (BAE);
.66= Is the conversion formula of toxicity dissipation for all categories of women (BAE).
For specific rates of time to get the BAC for the time of duration requires multiplying the BAC by .015 which is the per hour rate 1oz per BAC.
1 Beer= 12 oz per serving @ .06
1 Wine= 5 oz per serving @ .12
1 Liquor Shot= 1.25 oz per serving @ .40 (80 proof)
1. A 185 lbs. man drinks 1 Beer what is his BAC?
a. ([(12)(.06)(5.14)]/[(185)(.73)]) = (3.2008/135.03) = .03BAC of current alcohol content.
2. A 120 lbs. woman drinks 1 Beer what is her BAC?
a. ([(12)(.06)(5.14)]/[(120)(.66)]) = (3.7008/79.2) = .05 BAC of current alcohol content.
3. A 185 lbs. drinks 6 Beers for 3 hours what is his BAC for that 3 hour period?
a. ([(72)(.06)(5.14)]/[(185)(.73)]) = (3.2008/135.03) = .16BAC * (.015 x 3) = .11 BAC of alcohol content with .05 dissipation after three hours of drinking.
What are the penalties involved for a violation of Vehicle Code 23140 VC?
The penalties for a violation for Vehicle Code 23140 is a conviction as an infraction with fines not exceeding $100 dollars. Other punishments include driver’s education, alcohol treatment, and a one-year driver’s license suspension.
What are some of the defenses against a violation of Vehicle Code 23140 VC?
- Pre-Existing medical prescriptions that mimicked symptoms of alcohol impairment.
- The Driver was not operating the vehicle when questioned by an officer.
- BAC levels were affected by the driver’s diet or current digestion of food.
- PAS Test, or FST examination was not administered according to NHTSA standards.
- Lack of Probable Cause for the arrest.
- Involuntary Intoxication.
If you are charged with engaging in violating Vehicle Code 23140 VC, call The Esfandi Law Group. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group.
Our criminal defense team will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.
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