DWI and Minors
If you are a minor under the age of 21, the DUI Laws and DUI Penalties are even stricter for you. This is due in part to being under the age limit for publicly possessing or buying alcohol set by the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984.
This is also because of “Zero Tolerance” laws in many states across America. “Zero Tolerance” laws are laws enacted to ensure that any driver under the age of 21 with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level over 0.00 will be found guilty of impaired driving and face serious dui penalties. This is what is meant by “zero tolerance.” No level of alcohol in the blood will be tolerated in minors under age 21. These laws are designed to inflict more severe DUI penalties and consequences on minors with any alcohol in their systems.
How big a problem is underage drunk drinking across the United States? Is this something to be concerned about?
Here are some truly frightening statistics. One out of every 10 children between the ages 12 and 13 drinks alcohol at least once a month. 522 children under the age of 14 were arrested for Driving While Intoxicated in a single year. 113 of these children were under 10 years old. 70 percent of all teenagers drink alcohol. 60 percent of all teen deaths in car accidents are alcohol-related. Almost 1/3 of the drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States between the ages of 15 and 20 had been drinking.
In light of all this, if you are a minor or the parent of a minor who is facing DUI Charges and DUI penalties, there are some things you may need to think about. There are some things you may need to do.
Check to see what your state’s DUI laws are for minors. For example, does your state have “Zero Tolerance” laws for drivers under the age of 21? Some states do not require an arrest or additional chemical tests for minors, but others do.
Find out how your state treats various BAC (blood alcohol content) levels for minors. Offenses with a BAC under .01 usually carry a lesser penalty than incidents involving higher BAC levels. However, the laws differ from state to state.
Do some research to find out what your school’s rules are on DUI offenses. Some high schools and colleges have rules regarding minors with DUI arrests driving on campus.
Look for a recovery group like LifeRing or a peer support group to talk about DUI charges. It is possible for minors to reduce their DUI penalties by enrolling in treatment programs. This can also reduce the chances of you facing DUI charges, again.
You have the right and can appeal an undesirable department of motor vehicles or court decision. If you have been charged with a DUI and do not agree with your penalty, you can enlist the help of a lawyer to appeal the ruling.
Some states require time in jail, community service or fines for minors convicted of DUI charges. You may also be sentenced to a juvenile DUI program.
As you can see, DUI charges and DUI penalties for minors are a serious matter. They are only going to become more and more severe in the future as states crack down harder and harder on underage Drunk Driving.
If you are a minor or the parent of a minor facing a DUI Arrest and DUI charges, it should be obvious to you by now that your DUI Defense is not a matter that you can handle by yourself. You are going to need the help of an attorney.
You need a lawyer who specializes in drunk driving cases. You need a DUI Lawyer who works with this type of case everyday. A good DUI Attorney may be able to minimize the damages and fines that you face. An experienced DUI lawyer may even be able to have the DUI charges against you dropped.