What Happens When You’re Facing Underage DUI Charges?
Driving while under the influence is a serious offense in the state of Arizona. However, underage DUIs are even more serious because they tend to have a higher fatality rate. The effects of an underage DUI on a young person’s life can be enormous, meaning you should certain receive counsel from an Arizona DUI attorney.
There are 15 states that do not have separate laws around underage DUI. However, Arizona is not one of them. If you’re convicted of an underage DUI, you’ll face jail time, suspension of your license, hefty fines, rehabilitation and community service as well as struggles to find auto insurance on an ongoing basis.
What constitutes an underage DUI?
Arizona is a zero tolerance state for underage drinking. That means that drivers under the age of 21 cannot have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.00%. The same is true for illegal substances. Any traces of illegal substances can be cause for a DUI charge.
This presents some challenges for young adults as they could be perfectly coherent and safe to operate the vehicle. Choosing to get behind the wheel is often related to how someone feels after drinking and how much they’ve had. None of this is considered when a young adult tests positive for alcohol because of this zero tolerance policy Arizona observes.
To be charged with a DUI, there must first be some reason for suspicion that an officer observes. That suspicion could be the smell of alcohol on a driver’s breath or the presence of alcohol in the car.
Effects of an underage DUI conviction on a young person
After years of working toward good grades and being part of the right clubs at school to get accepted into a particular university, an underage DUI can wipe all that hard work out. Or young adults working toward more prestigious careers, such as an attorney or doctor, can hurt their chances of being accepted into that career.
Additionally, license suspensions are more severe for underage DUIs. This means that a young adult might have to find other means of transportation for a couple of years. This can put a strain on job opportunities and career choices based on proximity to public transportation.
Furthermore, insurance companies don’t look kindly on underage DUI convictions. Even once the person has been reinstated with licensing privileges, getting auto insurance can be difficult and pricey.
Hiring an Arizona attorney to defend your son or daughter from an underage DUI conviction
Arizona attorneys who have experience with underage DUIs can guide you along the way of defending your son or daughter from an underage DUI conviction. There are some nuances to underage DUIs that adult DUIs do not have, which is why you’ll want to ensure you pick the right attorney to represent you.
A failed field sobriety test or breathalyzer is the not the end of the line for your teenager or young adult. You can and should fight these charges to protect the young person’s future. There are many ways to fight and defend someone from an underage DUI, especially when the BAC is extremely low.
Outside of the DUI charge, a young person could be facing additional traffic violations, or even more serious charges, such as distributing alcohol to minors and child endangerment if they are with a person under the age of 18. If the charges are piling on and threatening your child’s future, get in contact with an Arizona DUI attorney as soon as possible to begin building your case. The sooner an attorney is brought in on the case, the quicker they can work toward ensuring your child’s future and long-term success.
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