As a parent, we are constantly worried about our children.Whether they’re at a friend’s house for a party or away at school, we are worried about the decisions they’re making. This is particularly true when it comes to alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, they don’t always make the best decision and find themselves facing a serious criminal charges as a result. Circumstances like this can be stressful on the whole family but being equipped with information can help you and your child navigate this unfortunate situation.
Under Alabama law it is illegal for a person to drive a vehiclewith a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. However, a minor under the age of 21 can be charged with driving while under the influence (DUI) if he or she has a BAC of .02 or higher. This means that one beer, one glass of wine, or one mixed drink could lead to criminal charges. The seriousness of those charges will depend on several factors: whether this is the minor’s first offense, whether the minor submitted to a blood alcohol test, the result of that test, and whether the minor was involved in an accident which resulted in injury to another person.
At this point, you may have some questions about what impact this may have on your child and what consequences they may be facing. You are probably asking yourself:
How does the blood alcohol test affect the severity of the charges against my child? If your child has a BAC of .02 or greater, but less than .08, they face a 30-day suspension of their driver’s license.
What if my child has a BAC of .08 or higher? If your child has a BAC of .08 or higher, they face a 90-day suspension of the driver’s license, up to one-year imprisonment, a fine of $500 up to $2,000, and DUI school attendance.
What are our options? Depending on the circumstances, your child may qualify for a deferred prosecution program which would keep the DUI off of your child’s record. Your child may qualify for youthful offender (YO) status. Once a person has been granted YO status, even if they are found guilty of the charged offense, it will not show up on their record as a conviction.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to seek legal counsel. An underage DUI conviction can have serious immediate and long-term consequences. If you or your child was arrested for an underage DUI in Alabama, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who can give you the best chance at obtaining the most favorable outcome to your case. The lawyers at BHM Law Group will work to help you resolve your child’s case with the fewest possible penalties.
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