Colorado Springs Underage DUI Lawyer
Juvenile Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence (DUI) is defined by operating a vehicle illegally under the influence of alcohol or any type of controlled substance. It's been estimated by studies that crashes due to impaired driving occur on average about once every 30 minutes, and these accidents make up more than 40 percent of total traffic fatalities.
For minors, drunk driving charges are extremely weighty, resulting in fines reaching $2500, license suspensions for up to two years, and background blemishes that can tarnish an otherwise clean record.
Every state, including the District of Columbia, has laws enacted that make it unlawful for adults to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) equal to or more than the mandated level of 0.08 percent, the point at which a person is considered legally impaired. At this point of BAC, studies suggest that reaction skills, vision, concentration, equilibrium, control, and other senses may be compromised. However, for minors with typically smaller statures and still developing bodies and minds, the effects of impairment can be greater.
Under Colorado DUI laws, as well as many other states, underage drivers (under the legal federal drinking age of 21 years old) are subject to more stringent standards. Minors operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol can be penalized for DUI with levels below the adult standard of 0.08 percent. Specifically, if an underage driver is found with a BAC of as much as 0.02 percent, he or she can be convicted of what is sometimes referred to as a "baby DUI" (the BAC range for underage DUI is from 0.02 - 0.05 percent), which carries significant legal repercussions. The consequences for juvenile driving under the influence include fines, negative points against a driving record (which are visible to law enforcement and greatly affect insurance premiums), a license suspension of three months or more, and mandatory community service.
When a minor is found to possess a BAC above 0.05 percent, he or she is charged with the same severity an adult would face with a 0.08 percent reading. Repeat underage DUI lawbreakers may lose their licenses or eventually be subject to a jail sentence depending on the severity of the circumstances. Often, second-time and repeat underage intoxicated driving violations for an individual may be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor (that will remain on a criminal record).
Underage DUI Punishment
- Repeal of driver's license from 90 days to 3 years;
- Car impoundment;
- Monetary fines of $100 to $2,500;
- Mandatory attendance of alcohol and drug education classes;
- Mandatory completion of 30 to 60 days of community service;
- Potential jail time, spanning from 2 days to one year; and
- A probation period of three to five years.
The circumstances involving underage drunk driving charges are incredibly complex and delicate given the effects they can have on a young, developing person's life path. Minors charged with underage DUI should contact the experienced defense attorneys with The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., located in Colorado Springs, for vigilant and aggressive counsel. Call (719) 475-2555 for a free complimentary and confidential consultation today.