Philadelphia Underage DUI
When your teen leaves the house with keys jingling in hand, he or she is no longer under your parental control. Although you may have taught them the importance of safe driving, some teenagers will make poor decisions that may lead them to drink and drive. Receiving an underage drinking conviction already puts convicted minors on thin ice. However, in the event that a minor drives under the influence significantly heightened penalties are enforced. If your teen has been charged with Underage Drinking and driving, having the right Philadelphia underage DUI may have a lasting impact on their future.
If you are Under the Age of 21, drive, get stopped, and have a BAC of .02 or higher, you have a problem. You will be charged with an Underage DUI, and be subject to the tremendous penalties the offense carries.
The Penalties for Underage DUI in Pennsylvania are strident, because the Commonwealth is trying to handle the problem of Underage Drinking and driving in the state. Despite having a population that represents less than 10 percent of the driving population, those under 21 account for an astounding 41 percent of alcohol impaired related deaths. This is a horrifying statistic, and one which is in desperate need of correction.
Due to this problem, Pennsylvania is pursuing Underage Drinking offenses like DUI with increasing vigilance. Though the cause is noble, you still have rights, and if charged with an Underage DUI you deserve an experienced defense attorney to aggressively fight the charges against you.
Consequences of Underage DUI
The potentially dangerous consequences aside, the legal consequences of underage DUI should be enough to deter anyone who is aware of these serious penalties.
At only .02 percent BAC and higher being required to charge an individual under 21 with a DUI, it is exceedingly easy to be beyond the limit. Such a low benchmark makes it so that consuming any amount of alcohol will put one at risk of yielding that result.
For a first offense, fines of up to $500, license suspension up to one year (if BAC .10 or higher), and imprisonment of up to 90 days are all possibilities. A second offense within ten years – which is likely to be the case with repeat underage DUI offenders – will result in fines up to $2500, automatic license suspension of one year, and five days to six months imprisonment. Subsequent offenses draw harsher punishment, including loftier fines, lengthier license suspensions, and longer jail sentences. All will require alcohol highway safety school, and the court may order treatment program compliance.
Additionally, DUI convictions will result in a criminal record, which means that anyone – including a potential employer – who runs a background check will find Underage DUI convictions. This could make securing or holding onto a job very difficult.
Finally, on top of the difficulty of paying the fines and finding a job in order to pay the fines, car insurance premiums skyrocket, or worse, the offender is dropped, and may have difficulty finding a company to insure them.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
These penalties and long-term effects are so harsh that you have to do everything you can to avoid them. A young person exercising bad judgment is an all too common occurrence, but they usually deserve a second chance, while some of these strict penalties will have the effect of preventing that. Jail time, loss of license, and a Criminal Record all have far reaching effects that may punish long term. Whether guilty or not, a young person deserves an intelligent and aggressive lawyer to protect their interests, and reduce these consequences.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.