Every year, more than 3000 teenagers die in drunk driving accidents. This is because teenagers are generally inexperienced drivers and are too young to be consuming alcohol. They take greater risks and they exercise less caution while behind the wheel. While driving under the influence, teenagers not only put themselves in danger but also others. Therefore, the laws and penalties for teenage drunk driving are strict.
Consequences of teenage DUI conviction
Punishments for teenage DUI varies from state to state. However, the punishments are generally harsher for first time offenders as compared to punishments given to adult first time offenders. This is because teenagers have to face penalties for underage drinking as well as driving under the influence. During the test, if teenagers’ blood alcohol content (BAC) is found anywhere from 0.05 – 0.07 percent and above, they can be charged with underage DUI and an adult DUI. This can further increase the penalties.
As a punishment, the court may also impose community service and fines of up to thousands of dollars. There may be license suspension for up to two years and some states will require teenagers to submit proof of financial responsibility before their license is reinstated.
Jail time and Probation
A teenage DUI conviction can result in up to one year in jail for first time offenders. For those who are caught drunk driving more than once, as well as those involved in a drunk driving accident, will receive a jail sentence ranging from a few days to several years, depending on the severity of the case.
Sometimes, a teenage DUI conviction can also result in probation for a period of 3-5 years. Teenagers may also be ordered to undergo diversion programs or other drug and alcohol related education classes.
There are grave social consequences for a teenage DUI conviction. Teenagers must disclose this information on all college applications. Although it may not prevent them from getting into college, it will certainly be a strike against them. Not listing the DUI on their application can result in automatic dismissal if the college later learns of the DUI.
In terms of employment, a prior conviction may sometimes sway an employer’s decision to hire them.
Refusing alcohol test
In some states, teenagers who refuse to submit to an alcohol test may lose their license for up to three years. Most state laws use the implied consent principle, which states that once a person receives a driver’s license to drive on public roads and highways, he or she implicitly gives his or her consent to be tested for sobriety. Refusal to submit to testing is often seen as an admission of guilt.
Victim of teenage drunk driving? Contact The Reinken Law Firm
At The Reinken Law Firm, we diligently represent injury victims and families in drunk driving cases. We can meet with you at our office in Stamford or at your home or hospital if needed. Contact our personal injury lawyers at 203.541.0090 / 203.491.4404 or fill out our online contact form. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay us unless we recover damages for you.