DUI charges are serious and knowing more about how they differ between minors and adults is important, especially when a minor is not legally supposed to be drinking. The charges that come about with either an adult or a minor are going to be serious. The situation is going to determine the severity of the specific charge, so it is important to consider your unique case and if you are in serious trouble, speak with a professional criminal defense lawyer who specializes in DUI laws and can provide the help required.
Standard DUIs and Underage DUIs
Just like a standard DUI that happens for adults, an underage DUI can criminalize the driver because they decided to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Underage DUIs are those that specifically target those who are under the age of 21, which is the legal drinking age in mostly all of the states of the USA.
Those who are being charged with a DUI and have also drank while underage are being dual charged for these offenses. Illegally consuming alcohol and driving while under the influence is not only dangerous but very illegal. Underage drunk drivers are considered particularly dangerous because of this. They are subject to just as strict of laws as adult intoxicated drivers that find themselves in trouble on the roadways.
DUIs and underage drinking are becoming issues within the United States, with more and more teenagers drinking and then getting behind the wheel. Stronger laws are now making the fines and consequences stricter than what they were, hoping to reduce the number of teens behind the wheels causing issues.
The number of fatalities that are caused by underage drunk driving has decreased by close to 60 percent because of these new laws that have been put in place over the past two decades. Even though these decreases are happening, there is always room for improvement, so nothing like this happens.
On average, more than three people die each day that are under the age of 21 due to alcohol-related driving accidents.
Better Zero Tolerance Laws
Many states have chosen to pass zero tolerance laws to help to battle the amount of underage drivers that are causing issues on the roadways. These laws make it illegal for those under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle at all if they even had a small amount of alcohol, even if they are under the legal limit set forth for adults.
This is in hopes to discourage not only underage drinking but also underage drinking and driving, as the penalties and consequences that come from this action can be severe. With BACs as low as 0.02 percent, underage drivers can get into serious trouble if found to be driving after drinking. Additionally, if the states do not have the zero-tolerance law, they may not get the state funding that they need for the roadways and other road work that might be required in their state.
In many instances, if the underage driver even seems like they are under the influence of alcohol and has consumed even half of a drink, they can be charged. The zero-tolerance law does not specifically state that it has to be 0.02 percent, but it can mean even the lowest of BAC amounts in the blood.
Underage drinking is not taken lightly in many, if not all states, so those who are found to also be driving are going to be more at risk for being charged. Even if the driver has not taken a test or has and their BAC is .00, they can still face serious penalties.
The Consequences of Zero Tolerance Laws
Those who are found to be in trouble due to the zero-tolerance laws can be faced with high fines of hundreds to thousands of dollars, and usually, their license can be suspended for a year or more. Some states may take the driver’s vehicle and impound it on them.
Jail time due to this is rare unless something serious happens and other people are involved in the situation. If the minor has a higher BAC, then the consequences that they are faced with can be tougher. The higher the content, the stiffer the consequences.
The reason for the zero-tolerance law is to stop underage minors from drinking in the first place. This means that this has to have some sort of effect on the lessons learned or if people stop. Additionally, those who are found to be drinking and driving and are a minor may have to go to mandatory educational classes. This is a class that teaches of the dangers of drinking and driving, and therapy or group classes related to drinking and driving can also be recommended.
Trust in a Professional for Help
There is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to hiring a professional that can help you. You want to hire a lawyer that specializes in DUI laws, whether adult or underage, but that can help you get the help you need regardless of the specific case you have.
These lawyers are there whenever they are needed. Their numbers can be found within the jail space, or you can request their number from those working in the holding cell. Find out how they might be able to help with the case you have because it is nice to have some sort of legal counsel from a professional that knows this law.
The office of Parlin Law PC is there when you need them, so you don’t have to worry about not having the right law office to call. They specialize in this type of law, so you can let them know what you’re faced with and your charges, as well as the situation, and they can let you know if they are able to provide the help you need. Call them today to learn more and see if they can help with your unique situation.