Drinking and driving can be a dangerous combination. Add to that, if you are underage and drinking and driving, it can be dangerous and illegal.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 10 percent of alcohol consumption in the United States is by minors between 12 and 20 years old. If that is not enough, here are more stats: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that fatal accidents are ever-increasing for drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 and a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that American high school students are driving under the influence a whopping 2.4 million times each month.
Unfortunately, this will all detrimentally affect their future. Here is a closer look at how.
The Physical Injuries That Result from an Underage DUI
It is more common for underage drinking drivers to suffer more serious injuries if involved in a car accident because of their lack of experience behind the wheel on top of the fact that their driving is impaired by drinking alcohol.
These are injuries that will lead to chronic pain and possible limited mobility that could dramatically affect their future, including:
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries and nerve damage
- Serious abrasions
The Social Mars of Underage DUI
Aside from the physical injuries and legal troubles a teen will face following an underage DUI conviction, the social consequences will also affect their future. After all, they now have a criminal record.
This means that, post-DUI conviction, a person will find it more difficult to be approved for a job, a college scholarship, an internship, or more. And along with the loss of driving privileges comes the awkward inconveniences of coordinating a driver and scheduling.
The Legal Effects of an Underage DUI
Arizona is a zero-tolerance state, which means that it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drive with absolutely any alcohol in their body or the penalties could be severe.
Because it is zero-tolerance, underage drivers will have to face harsher consequences than the standard DUI that allows a 0.8 percent blood alcohol content (BAC), which is derived from breathalyzer tests, blood tests, or field sobriety tests.
There are four levels of underage DUI laws:
- Underage DUI to the Slightest Degree, or Baby DUI, resulting in a 10-day jail sentence and up to $2,000 in fines.
- Regular DUI, which results in 10 days of jail time and up to $1,250 in fines.
- Extreme DUI that can come with a 30-day prison sentence and fines and fees up to $2,500.
- Super Extreme DUI, resulting in 45 days of jail time and fines up to $2,500.
Get Legal Protection for an Underage DUI
If you are a parent of a teen who was just arrested for an underage DUI in Chandler, it is imperative to contact an experienced Chandler criminal defense attorney who can work with your case to potentially get the charges dropped or minimized so this will not affect the long future ahead of them.