The legal intoxication level for someone under 21 years of age is a .02 BAC or higher. If you are caught driving while intoxicated and you are a minor, try not to panic. There are many ways that a lawyer can try to get a BAC level test thrown out in court, as well as ways that lawyers help you to get a lighter punishment from a judge.
In general, juveniles tend to get lesser punishments than adults for crimes. However, the punishments for a minor are greater than the punishments for an adult. The first DUI offense by a minor will result in a fine of $500-$1,000. Also, you face a jail sentence of between two days and six months, probation, and 100 hours of community service. Finally, you face a 45-day license suspension followed by a year of participation in the ignition interlock device program.
A second offense carries a fine of $1,000 – $4,000, a prison sentence of between 120 days and two years, 100 hours of community service, probation, a 45-day license suspension and, upon reinstatement of the driver’s license, three years of participation in the ignition interlock device program.
A third offense or subsequent offense will result in a fine of between $2,000 and $8,000, a jail sentence of 1-3 years, probation, 100 hours of community service, a license revocation of two years and, upon the reinstatement of the driver’s license, participation in the ignition interlock device program for life.
All fifty states in America have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to minors driving under the influence. As a result, if you are a minor and receive a DUI, all of the regular consequences of a DUI will be doubled for you.
Immediately after receiving a DUI, a 16 or 17 year old will have their license taken away by the arresting officer for 48 hours. The license as well as the vehicle being driven will be removed on behalf of the DMV.
Regaining a License
To regain the license, a parent or legal guardian must appear at the police department and sign a written statement acknowledging the return of the license. Furthermore, in August 2008, PA 08-32 was passed, stating that anyone under the age of 18 and being arrested for a DUI will not be considered a youthful offender.
Punishments Based on Offense
Even if a parent attempts to get a license back, there are still other suspension punishments that you will face. Punishments for minors are always more severe than they are for adults in DUI cases.
For a first offense, you face a 180-240 day license suspension, depending on how much over the BAC limit you were. For a second offense, you will face a 18-20 month license suspension as a minor. If you receive a third offense, your license will be suspended for 4-5 years.
These are all automatic punishments imposed by the DMV if you receive a juvenile DUI. You may also face heavy fines, community service, substance abuse treatment, etc. if you receive a juvenile DUI. Your automobile insurance will probably increase as well due to a juvenile DUI.
Avoiding BAC Tests and Standardized Sobriety Field Tests
Police oftentimes gives BAC tests improperly, so in many cases a lawyer can get a BAC test thrown out of a trial.
Avoid any Standardized Sobriety Field Test because they are designed to make you fail. Remain polite and calm if you are pulled over by the police, but remember that you can refuse tests. Sometimes this will mean that your license suspension will be higher, but it can help your case in court. If you are caught drunk driving and you are a minor, the consequence can be serious, but remember that a lawyer can help you make a strong case.
Call Your Lawyer
Consider contacting a lawyer and explaining the facts of your DUI case to them. Tell your lawyer exactly what happened and see what kind of advice they can give you. Juvenile DUIs can be serious charges, so the sooner you discuss your case with a lawyer, the better.