Unfortunately, only 10% of licensed drivers are under the age of 21, yet 17 percent are responsible for fatal alcohol-related crashes. It is important to make sure your child is informed and safe while driving.
For a driver that is under the age of 21, a DUI is determined if the driver has a BAC of .02% or higher. Historically, people between the ages of 16 and 21 cannot get a restricted driver’s license. That is, in part, because the law says, “Underage driving while impaired 18 to 21, is a Class A misdemeanor.” It goes on to say, “Punishable by a driver’s license suspension of one year and a fine of $250. As an additional punishment, the court may impose public service work.”
That is the same punishment that is available to someone between the ages of 16 and 18. In Tennessee, you’re considered a juvenile 16 to 18. I do have some of those cases from time to time.
A lot of times, the court will just hold the license and not revoke the person if it’s a first‑time offense. That is a huge benefit, because you do not have to go through the reinstatement process, which is sometimes difficult.
Other charges may be possible for a DUI for an underage driver such as, distributing alcohol to other minors, minor in possession, soliciting alcohol, and child endangerment law violations. It is very important for a lawyer to be contacted immediately after an underage driver has been pulled over.
For an underage driver it is also important to look at other consequences such as disclosure for job application, college applications, and request for financial aid. For failure to disclose information the defendant could result in loss of rights, loss of financial aid, and loss of some types of financial aid. It’s important to talk with your lawyer about when you must disclose your charge.
To understand more about DUI cases and be represented in an underage DUI, contact an experienced lawyer at Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC today.