DUI/DWI Charges Involving Minors and Persons Under 21, Including Students
Getting a DUI/DWI is one thing. Getting one when you’re a minor or student is another.
As you probably know, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is a violation of state statutes that prohibit people from operating a motor vehicle while impaired because of alcohol or other substances. An underage DUI/DWI is when the intoxicated motorist is under the age of 21. In this case, the normal maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) at which a driver can legally operate a vehicle, .08, is reduced tremendously—with the detection of even a minimal amount of alcohol in the blood leading to possible ticketing, license suspension, and criminal charges.
In fact, many states have a “zero tolerance” law when it comes to minors—and Kansas and Missouri are among them. This law makes it illegal for a person under the age of 21 to drive a vehicle if their BAC is .02 or more. Let us put that in perspective: a 150-pound man can reach a .02 percent BAC after having just one alcoholic drink over an hour. An average-weight woman who has just one drink will reach that limit even sooner. And many times, it doesn’t matter if your driving looked impaired. You can get convicted of a DUI by blood alcohol content alone.
So what do the charges mean? If a driver under the age of 21 has a BAC between .02 and .08, their license could be suspended for 30 days and restricted for an additional 330 days. If a minor has a BAC of .08 or higher, the punishment includes a 30-day suspension, 6-month restriction, and a required interlock device in their car. And a BAC over .150 results in a one-year suspension, one-year restriction, and a mandatory interlock device. And those are just the revoked driving privileges. Additional penalties can include jail time and fines up to $2000. Think you can avoid punishment by refusing the test? Think again. Doing so could still lead to suspended driving privileges for a year. And these aren’t juvenile charges—minors between the ages of 14 and 18 will be tried and prosecuted as adults for traffic offenses.
But here’s the good news. Even if you are charged with an underage DUI/DWI in Kansas or Missouri, you still have constitutional rights. And working with seasoned defense attorneys like the ones at Taylor Defense Law can ensure that those rights are being followed. We can help you identify the facts and help devise a solid strategy to fight the charges against you. We’ll do everything we can for the best possible outcome, and be by your side as we represent you in court.
The state treats underage drinking and driving very seriously. So you need knowledge and experience regarding your case.
If you’ve been charged with an underage DUI, don’t wait. Call us today.