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In re Jennifer S.

November 10, 2009

IN RE JENNIFER S., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW.
THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JENNIFER S., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Del Norte County Super. Ct. No. JDSQ08-6182). Robert W. Weir, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Simons, J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Appellant Jennifer S., born in May 1993, was made a ward of the court (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 602, subd. (a)) and placed on home probation by the Del Norte County (County) Juvenile Court after it found she violated County Code section 9.42.020,*fn1 which makes it a misdemeanor for a person under age 21 to have a blood alcohol level of.01 percent or more while in a public place within the County.*fn2 Appellant contends the Ordinance is preempted by state law and is therefore void. We disagree and affirm.

DISCUSSION

The background facts are not disputed. Appellant was present at a trailer park when police arrived to investigate a possible domestic dispute. After noting the odor of alcohol on appellant‟s breath, the officers had her submit to a preliminary alcohol screening test. Thereafter, appellant admitted she had been drinking. The juvenile court rejected appellant‟s claim that the Ordinance was preempted by state law.

I. Standard of Review

In evaluating the extent, if any, to which state law preempts the Ordinance, we must interpret both the Ordinance and relevant state statutes. The construction of statutes and the ascertainment of the Legislature‟s intent involve questions of law and our review is de novo. (Bravo Vending v. City of Rancho Mirage (1993) 16 Cal.App.4th 383, 391-392 (Bravo Vending).)

II. Principles Governing State Law Preemption

Recently, in O'Connell v. City of Stockton (2007) 41 Cal.4th 1061 (O'Connell), our Supreme Court restated the general principles relevant to determining whether a local ordinance is preempted by a state statute:

" "Under article XI, section 7 of the California Constitution, "[a] county or city may make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general [state] laws." [¶] "If otherwise valid local legislation conflicts with state law, it is preempted by such law and is void." [Citations.] [¶] "A conflict exists if the local legislation " "duplicates, contradicts, or enters an area fully occupied by general law, either expressly or by legislative implication." ‟ " [Citations.]‟ [Citations.]...

"A local ordinance duplicates state law when it is "coextensive‟ with state law. [Citations.]

"A local ordinance contradicts state law when it is inimical to or cannot be reconciled with state law. [Citations.]

"A local ordinance enters a field fully occupied by state law in either of two situations-when the Legislature "expressly manifest[s]‟ its intent to occupy the legal area or when the Legislature "impliedly‟ occupies the field. [Citations.]" (O'Connell, supra, 41 Cal.4th at pp. 1067-1068.)

The Legislature impliedly occupies the field in three situations: "[W]hen " "(1) the subject matter has been so fully and completely covered by general law as to clearly indicate that it has become exclusively a matter of state concern; (2) the subject matter has been partially covered by general law couched in such terms as to indicate clearly that a paramount state concern will not tolerate further or additional local action; or (3) the subject matter has been partially covered by general law, and the subject is of such a nature that the adverse effect of a local ordinance on ...


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