Law enforcement officials and prosecutors take underage drinking and driving seriously in Connecticut. These cases are harshly prosecuted to prevent young people from beginning cycles of alcohol abuse and repeat DUIs. Intoxicated driving charges are handled in regular criminal court rather than as juvenile offenses, even for those under the age of 21.
Underage people facing intoxicated driving allegations need legal representation to protect their rights and futures. A Shelton underage DUI lawyer at Ruane Attorneys is here to help you or your child move forward from this incident.
BAC Levels for Underage DUI Defendants
There is a lower legal threshold to prove intoxication in minors. An adult over 21 must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08 to be considered under the influence; this standard is only .02 for minors. An underage person could reach this level after one or even half of an alcoholic beverage.
Other Evidence of Intoxication
The factors used to determine impairment in an underage driver are the same as for any adult driver. A police officer may rely on various observations of the driver, including:
- Their speech
- Their appearance
- Their physical movements
- The odor of alcohol or drugs
- Their ability to complete standardized field tests
- The presence of any other substances in the vehicle
After a traffic stop and arrest for an underage DUI in Shelton, a driver should contact legal counsel as soon as possible. An attorney could investigate for any police misconduct during the stop and vehicle search. At Ruane Attorneys, we work to get any improperly obtained evidence thrown out, potentially forcing the prosecution to drop the charges.
The Prosecution of Underage DUI Cases in Shelton
Minor defendants accused of DUI could face the charges in regular court rather than juvenile court. They will generally face fines and potential jail time.
Judges and prosecutors often want to use these cases as examples to prevent the underage person from being involved in intoxicated driving again. They will likely order an alcohol abuse evaluation or ongoing psychological treatment. Our attorneys in Shelton could work to prevent overly harsh sentencing and protect a young person’s future against DUI charges. We could help a minor take advantage of any available procedures or programs the court can use to avoid a conviction.
Work With a Shelton Lawyer to Defend Against Underage DUI Charges
A young person stands a lot to lose from a DUI conviction. A mark on their criminal record can impact their future educational and employment opportunities. At Ruane Attorneys, our lawyers work to prevent these negative outcomes for young people facing criminal charges.
It is essential to work with a Shelton underage DUI lawyer who understands the common issues in these cases and can work to uncover holes in the prosecution’s evidence. Our legal team knows the science behind DUI testing and understands the unique legal issues involved in proving intoxication. We can investigate whether the police administered the testing improperly or collected evidence using illegal search methods. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can begin analyzing your case and building a strong defense on your behalf.