Many high school and college students throughout Arizona and the United States engage in underage drinking at parties and other social gatherings. However, since drunk driving accidents are one of the leading causes of death among young people in the country, there are serious consequences if an underage driver operates a vehicle while impaired.
Arizona has a Zero Tolerance Policy regarding underage DUI (or “baby DUI”), which means if there is any trace of alcohol in the young driver’s system, then he/she will be arrested for drunk driving. The legal limit for adults 21 years of age or older is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent.
If a person under 18 years of age is arrested for DUI, the juvenile court system will handle his/her case. Punishment for drunk driving include fines, community service, driver’s license suspension, alcohol and drug classes, and other penalties.
By contrast, if a person over 18 but younger than 21 is arrested, he/she will be charged in criminal court. An underage DUI in Arizona is a misdemeanor, which carries a jail term of up to six months, fines potentially thousands of dollars, and driver’s license suspension for up to two years.
In addition, having a DUI conviction on a criminal record can have a negative impact on a young person’s future. He/she may experience difficulties applying for college, finding work, and living a normal life.
If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DUI in Yuma, let Bowman, Smith & Kallen, P.L.L.C. protect your rights and freedom. Contact us today at (928) 433-2355 to discuss your case with our legal team.