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Underage DUI Consequences

Nov, 20 2017
Underage DUI

Drinking and driving is never a good idea. However, drinking and driving when you are underage might be a worse idea. An underage DUI can have serious consequences. If you face charges for an underage drunk driving charge, you should know what you’re up against. Find out everything that you need to know about underage DUIs.

What is an Underage DUI?

Most people understand that a DUI is a charge for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, an underage DUI is less common. The term refers to any driver who is under the age of 21 and drunk driving. Although most states have a legal blood alcohol content of over .08%, underage drivers have stricter requirements. Often, an underage driver cannot have any alcohol in his blood.

The law varies from state-to-state. Although all states make the legal drinking age 21 years of age, they all have varying laws regarding the blood alcohol content. Some states have a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. However, others have levels that are higher. Depending on where you live, one drink could be enough for you to get an underage DUI.

The Penalties

Once again, the penalties for underage drinking and driving vary depending on the state. Nevertheless, most states have similar penalties. Usually, the individual receives a driver’s license suspension. This can vary from about 30 days to several years. Another penalty is the impoundment of your vehicle. Often, offenders also need to complete community service hours. Fines for the crime can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If a court finds you guilty, you might need to attend DUI school or go to juvenile detention. Some offenders get probation.

When a judge hears your case, she considers several factors. Those factors affect the severity of your penalties. Important factors include whether or not you had a suspended license, whether anyone was injured, and your prior offenses. In some situations, you could do jail time for the crime. Additionally, your other penalties could be stricter. If your drinking and driving caused an accident that involved the death or serious injury of someone, then you could face felony charges.

How it Affects Your Family

While you might bear the brunt of the consequences for your underage DUI, your family also faces some consequences. If your vehicle was a family vehicle, then they could lose access to it.

When you lose your license, your parents take on more responsibility. For example, they might need to help you pay your fines. Although the law won’t require them to, they could choose to help you. It’s also likely that they will pay for an experienced lawyer. This could cause financial strain.

Your parents may need to change their lives to help you out. Specifically, they may need to drive you to school or to work. If you need to attend a DUI school, then they may need to drive you there. Your DUI can have a big impact on their lives and their daily schedule.

Finally, there is the legal component. In most court cases, the driver takes responsibility for the DUI. However, a court could hold parents criminally liable. If your parents supplied alcohol to you or to a friend who is guilty of underage drinking and driving, then they could have a problem. A court could charge them or hold them financially responsible.

Famous Cases

Underage DUI charges can happen to anyone – even a celebrity. Here are a few celebrities with underage drinking and driving charges:

1. Michael Phelps

When he was 19, Michael Phelps was arrested for underage drunk driving. However, his conviction did not keep him from success. He went on to win 22 Olympic medals. Recently, he faced another charge for drinking and driving. Although he faced a suspension from competing, Michael Phelps has yet to prove if he learned his lesson the second time around.

2. Joey Gaydos Jr.

If you ever watched “School of Rock,” then you might recognize Joey Gaydos Jr. The young celebrity made a good impression with his appearance in the film. However, he made the wrong impression when he tried to drive drunk. Michigan police arrested him for driving drunk. At only 17, he faced charges for underage drinking and driving.

3. Tori Vance

The Miss Teen USA is supposed to be a model of good behavior. However, the 2010 Miss Arizona Teen USA was not a great role model. When she was 18, the police arrested her under suspicion of underage drinking and driving. After she made an illegal U-turn, the police pulled her over. They saw signs of intoxication and asked her to take a field sobriety test. When she failed, the officer arrested her. She had a blood alcohol content of over .08%.

Fighting Underage DUIs

If you’re facing an underage DUI charge, then you need a lawyer. There is a lot at stake. With a lawyer’s help, you may be able to get a good outcome.

Underage DUI Consequences

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