If your child was arrested in Georgia for driving under the influence, you may be worried what this can mean for their future. Unfortunately, a DUI conviction can impact a young person for the rest of their life. This is why it is important to consider all of the possible consequences of a DUI conviction before deciding whether to plead guilty or fight the charges.
It is important to remember that just because the police arrested you for drunk driving does not mean that you are guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol according to the laws of Georgia. We all have rules we need to follow, and the police are no exception. It is the courts and not the police who decide whether you will be convicted or found not guilty. This is why it is important to have an advocate on your side, to fight for you and make sure you get treated fairly. Don't carry the burden of a criminal conviction with you for the rest of your life, call an experienced, local DUI defense lawyer to fight the charges against you, so you can get back to your normal life.
Underage DUI Arrest
It can be a terrible experience when the police stop you for some unknown reason. You may feel guilty even if you're not sure if you've done anything wrong. For drivers who may have had one or two drinks, even if they know they are not impaired, they may be worried that if the police smell alcohol, they will get arrested even if they are under the legal limit. Unfortunately, for underage drivers, there is no real “safe” drinking limit.
Georgia has adopted a “zero-tolerance policy” when it comes to underage drinking and driving. Since, by law, people under 21 years old are not supposed to be drinking, the State of Georgia tries to discourage underage drinking through laws like the zero tolerance policy. The effect of this policy is that drivers under 21 are held to a much higher standard than of-age drivers.
For most people, a BAC of 0.08% or higher is over the limit. But for drivers under 21, the limit is only 0.02%. If your BAC tests over the limit through a breath or blood test, you will be arrested for a DUI, and face a misdemeanor conviction, with serious penalties and long-term consequences.
Under 21 DUI Penalties
The penalties for an underage DUI can include fines and fees, a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program, community service, and even possible jail time. On top of the criminal penalties, a driver will also lose their license from 6 months to a year. Underage drivers with a BAC of less than 0.08%, will get a six-month suspended driver's license. However, an underage driver with a BAC of higher than 0.08%, will have their license suspended for one year.
If a driver under 21 gets a second underage DUI, the penalties are much more serious. This can include a minimum of 3 days in prison, more hours of community service, increased fines, and ignition interlock device installed in their care, and a three-year driver's license suspension.
Experienced DUI Lawyer for Underage Drivers
If you or a loved one were arrested for underage DUI in Atlanta, you only have 10 days from the date of arrest to challenge your automatic driver's license suspension. Call my office today, and I will make a formal hearing request, and represent you during your ALS hearing so that you can keep your license. We can discuss all your options and defenses to fight the charges against you, keep your record clean, and make sure you are treated fairly.