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What happens to underage drivers who commit DUI?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | Criminal Law |

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a severe crime that could lead to grave consequences, such as deadly collisions and physical harm. This crime could endanger many people, including the driver, their passengers and others on the road. Convicted offenders could face drastic penalties, which is also true for underage drivers.

Underage DUI drivers could also face full punishment for this offense. The law provides sanctions regardless of the driver’s age. However, the approach could vary based on the offender’s level of intoxication. Reduced penalties could apply for the first offense if the driver is underaged and has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 or below. They might receive lesser sanctions, such as minimal fines and license suspension.

However, they could receive penalties for unlawful possession of intoxicating substances. It is illegal for individuals under 21 to consume or possess these substances, including alcohol, knowingly. Depending on the incident’s severity, this offense could result in fines, community service, license confiscation, and enrollment in a substance abuse program.

Other laws concerning intoxication and substance abuse could apply based on the case details and the accompanying factors that could increase the offense’s severity. The penalties could also vary, depending on the driver’s criminal record.

Existing exceptions

An underage individual could consume and possess alcohol in specific situations. They could ingest alcohol in nonintoxicating amounts if received from a parent or guardian. They could also do so if the substance is for medical or religious purposes. Still, the quantity should remain under the intoxicating limits. Sometimes, medical amnesty laws could come into play.

Still, it could all depend on the situation. Nevertheless, DUI could have grave repercussions, especially if the offender is underage. They should receive reliable legal counsel and accomplish any obligations brought about by their violation.