Voas, R. B.
Report (1994)On January 1, 1994 the State of California became the 16th State to implement a Zero Tolerance (defined as BAC less than .02) Law for drivers under 21 years of age. The California Law (Senate Bill Numer 689) is unique. It not only provides for a full year's license suspension for young drivers apprehended with any measurable alcohol in their blood but, in addition, it specifically established the hand-held priliminary breath test unit as the device for determining the presence of alcohol. This releases the police officer from the requirement to transport the suspect to the police station for an evidential test.
With this refinement, the police officer, who has probable cause to stop a driver and has reason to believe that the driver has been drinking, can require a roadside breath test if the operator is under the age of 21. If the suspect refuses, or provides a breath sample indicating a BAC greater than .01, the officer may seize the driver's license and replace it with a citation that includes a temporary 30-day permit and forward the license to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The Depatment will then take action to suspend the driver's license for one year.