Teenager Charged With A DUI? 3 Things You'll Need To Know

Posted on: 25 April 2016

Drinking and driving is responsible for the deaths of at least 2000 underage drivers each year. If your teenager has been charged with a DUI, you'll need to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can follow your teenager for many years. Here are three things you should know if your teen has been arrested for driving under the influence.

Zero-Tolerance Laws Apply

To cut back on the number of underage drinking-related accidents, many states have developed zero-tolerance laws. This means that if your teenage driver is found guilty of driving under the influence, there will be legal repercussions. In California, zero-tolerance laws apply to any driver under the age of 21 years, who has been found guilty of a DUI. If your teenager was arrested in California, and had a BAC- blood alcohol count – above .01%, zero-tolerance laws will apply.

Penalties Are Harsher

If your teenage driver is found guilty of driving under the influence, their penalties may be harsher than an adult facing the same charges. This is because your teenager will also face charges for underage drinking, which carry their own penalties. In addition, if there are other charges that apply, your teenager may face additional penalties for those charges as well. Some additional charges your teen may face include the following:

  • Possession of drugs or alcohol
  • Child endangerment – if there were underage passengers in the vehicle
  • Possession of a fake ID – if a false ID was used for the purchase of alcohol

Your Teen May Face Jail Time

If your teen has been charged with a DUI, they may face jail time if they're convicted of the offense. This is particularly true if they've been arrested for the same offense before, or they were involved in a car accident while under the influence. Depending on the severity of the crime, your teenager may be facing a sentence of up to a year in jail for the first offense. They may also be required to undergo a diversion program designed to help them with any drug or alcohol addictions they may have.

If your teenager has been charged with driving under the influence, you're going to need a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will know how to help your teenager deal with the charges they're facing. The information provided here will help you understand how a DUI conviction may affect your teen. Contact a law firm, such as Boehmer Law, for more information.