It doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S., the legal drinking age is 21. If you aren’t 21, you’re not supposed to drink. You’re not even allowed to be in possession of alcohol. However, the police aren’t naïve. They know that minors drink. And, sadly, they know that underage drinkers also drive. This means they can be charged with DUI.
It’s already dangerous enough to have young drivers on the road. They’re inexperienced and they don’t always make the best choices. They take unnecessary risks and tend to drive with too many of their friends in the car. When you add alcohol into the mix, the results can be deadly.
In an effort to deter young people from drinking and driving, the State has made the laws for underage DUI pretty stiff. Imagine having your license suspended while you’re still on a probationary license. Some young people end up having to wait years and years before they’re allowed to drive again. They’re also forced to complete community service and pay a hefty amount of fines.
If your child has been arrested and charged with DUI, you’re going to need help. Call and speak with an experienced DUI lawyer in Athens as soon as possible. There’s not much time between your teen’s arrest and their first court appearance. You’re going to want your lawyer to have as much time as possible to prepare.
What is the Law for Underage DUI in Georgia?
The legal limit for DUI for people 21 and over is .08. However, if you’re under 21, this limit is lowered to just .02. In order to have a BAC of .02 or higher, all you have to do is drink one beer, one glass of wine or one shot. There really isn’t any wiggle room there.
If you’re pulled over and you refuse to take a breathalyzer, your license may be suspended. And, even if you don’t take the test, you can still be charged with DUI.
There are two types of DUI in Georgia. The first one is a DUI per se. This is cases where the driver blows higher than the legal limit. The other type of DUI is called a DUI less safe. These are cases where, regardless of your BAC, you can still be arrested for DUI. If whatever substance you consumed has made you a less safe driver, you can be charged with DUI in Georgia.
If you’re convicted of DUI, you’ll be facing some very serious penalties as an underage driver.
Your Athens DUI Lawyer Knows the Penalties for an Underage Driver Charged with DUI
If you’re convicted of DUI as a minor, you’ll be facing very serious penalties. Even for a first offense, the consequences are pretty serious. Here are the penalties for DUI for someone under the legal drinking age:
- 1st Offense:
- Fines of $300 to $1,000
- 24hours to 12 months in jail
- 20 hours of community service
- Suspension of your license for at least 6 months
- 2nd Offense:
- Fines from $600 to $1,000
- 72 hours to 1 year in jail
- 30 days of community service
- 3rd Offense:
- A high and aggravated misdemeanor
- Fines of $1,000 to $5,000
- 15 days to 12 months in jail
- 30 days community service
- 4th Offense:
- Fines of $1,000 to $5,000
- 90 days to 5 years in jail
- 60 days of community service
In addition to these penalties, as an underage defendant, you’ll also face several other penalties. Some of these include:
- Loss of license for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (or longer)
- You won’t be allowed to apply for a work or school permit
- You must receive a clinical evaluation for drug and abuse dependency
- Required to complete DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program
As you can imagine, being convicted of DUI as a young person can affect you for the rest of your life. It can even affect your applications to colleges and participation in certain sports programs.
Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer in Athens Today
If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, you don’t have a lot of time before your first court appearance. You don’t want to go to court alone. Call and speak with an experienced DUI lawyer in Athens right away. They’re going to need as much time as possible to prepare your case.
Your DUI lawyer will work with the prosecutor to try to resolve your case. This may mean the charges are reduced or dismissed. Or, it may mean you accept a plea deal. Call our Athens DUI law firm today and schedule your initial consultation.