Hampton Roads Underage DUI Lawyer

Drinking while driving is a serious offense. The severity of the offense stays the same, regardless of whether someone is an adult and drinking while driving, or they are under 21. If you have been charged with an underage DUI offense, speak with a capable Hampton Roads underage DUI lawyer. A qualified DUI attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome for those who have been caught drinking and driving as minors. Speak with an experienced legal advocate to learn more, and know that you are in good hands.

Laws Concerning Underage DUIs

DUI laws are different for an individual under the age of 21 who is pulled over for DUI suspicions. When an individual is under the age of 21, it is illegal to have a blood alcohol concentration higher than 0.02 %, but it is 0.08% for adults, which is a much lower standard for juveniles or for individuals under the age of 21. There is a separate code section called the Underage DUI Statute which is technically not considered a DUI. This statute cannot be used to elevate subsequent DUI charges. However, it is also possible that, depending upon the circumstances, an individual under the age of 21 can be charged with a standard DUI.

Factors Used to Determine Impairment in Underage Drivers

Law enforcement will use the same factors to determine impaired driving in underage drivers as they use in adults. The officers will observe:

  • The individual’s speech
  • Their appearance
  • Whether or not the individual has glassy eyes
  • Whether the odor of alcohol is present or not
  • How they perform on field sobriety tests if they are able to perform the field sobriety tests

They also can do breath testing and blood testing to determine whether someone is impaired or not.

How Underage DUI Arrests Are Handled

When an individual is charged with an under-21 DUI, it is handled in much the same way as other DUI cases. The individual will likely be arrested and taken to the Magistrate’s Office but will be held overnight in order for the alcohol to leave their system. If they are found guilty, potential penalties include fines and license suspensions. An underage DUI lawyer could be an invaluable asset during this time. Following an arrest, they could get in contact with the defendant, and try to get them released on bond.

Prosecution of Underage DUI Cases

First-time underage DUIs are prosecuted strongly. The courts try to balance things between wanting to help young people avoid convictions that could ruin their chances of future success and to balance that with encouraging individuals to make better decisions as they get older. Judges and prosecutors do prosecute teenagers and they do try to get convictions, but they do not treat them as seriously as they do adult DUI cases. Part of the issue is that prosecutors do not want this type of behavior to continue into adulthood. However, since they are dealing with younger people, they tend to be a little more willing to work with an individual’s Hampton Roads underage DUI lawyer, in order to work out a good resolution for everyone involved.

Consulting a Hampton Roads DUI Attorney

If an individual is charged with an underage DUI (and not the regular DUI statute), even though it does not necessarily count as a DUI or carry any jail time, it does carry with it the possibility of significant fines and penalties, a license suspension, and can affect the individual’s insurance as well. These are very serious things. A good Hampton Roads underage DUI lawyer can work with an individual and come up with the best possible outcome by determining whether the Commonwealth can prove their case and then make decisions as to what needs to be done to defend the individual. If someone has been charged with an underage DUI attorney, they should not hesitate to speak with a capable lawyer that could fight tirelessly for them.