For minors, there is no acceptable blood alcohol content allowable. Arizona shows zero tolerance for underage drinkers. A DUI conviction for a Phoenix driver younger than 21 carries many undesirable consequences, including the following:
The actual penalties for underage DUI depend on the age of the arrested individual. Minors less than 18 years of age are usually under the jurisdiction of juvenile law while adults between the ages of 18 and 21 will be tried as adults for their offenses. For both groups of individuals, any traceable alcohol in the bloodstream at the time of the police stop constitutes arrest, and the alleged offender is subject to harsh penalties.
If your child is under the age of 18 and was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will be processed under a different type of laws than adults are. Juvenile penalties for driving under the influence are not necessarily as harsh as that for adults. Jail time is not required for all juvenile DUI convictions, unlike adult convictions. Rather, your child will likely face a two-year license suspension during which time they will be ordered to participate in a court-mandated substance abuse program. If they are given time in jail, it will be spent in juvenile hall and is usually one day for the first offense but can go up to one month for a second offense.
If your child’s DUI involved aggravating factors such as a significantly high blood alcohol content level or injury to a third party, the penalties are likely to increase proportionately. Some extreme cases of underage DUI involving a minor are processed under adult law because of the nature of the offense.
If the individual arrested for underage DUI is between the ages of 18 and 21, they will face consequences as an adult who violated the legal drinking age on top of the prohibition against driving under the influence. This means that the consequences for young adults convicted of underage DUI are extremely harsh. The offense carries a sentence of up to 24 months of license suspension, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for at least three years and up to six months in jail. The sentence may also include fines of up to $5,000 in addition to three to five years of probation and court-ordered substance abuse programs. Just like for minors, an aggravated DUI involving an underaged young adult will have significantly heavier penalties.
Rosenstein Law Group welcomes students at Arizona State University, military personnel and other minors in the Phoenix area who have been charged with underage DUI. We earnestly hope that you will not consider this to be simply a traffic ticket — and that you will not plead guilty before consulting with an experienced lawyer. You may be able to plead to a lesser offense, avoid a criminal record altogether or reduce a two-year driving suspension. Our defense attorneys can help you explore your options.
Perhaps you don’t want your parents or your Phoenix employer to know about your underage DUI charges, and you hope that by taking care of it yourself, you can put the matter behind you. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You must confront the challenge head on.
We know all too well how high the stakes are for you. We are prepared to represent you and help you pursue the most favorable outcome attainable in your case:
For effective defense on an underage DUI arrest, call or e-mail AZ Defenders today and request a consultation with a Phoenix underage DUI defense lawyer. We serve the Greater Phoenix area, Maricopa County, Pima County and Pinal County, including college students and personnel from Luke Air.