What Are the Penalties for a DUI Conviction If I Am Under the Age of 21?
Young people tend to make mistakes, and most end up learning from them. However, some mistakes can cost teens and youths greatly and potentially have a negative influence on their life and future. The state of Georgia has taken a tough stance on underage drinkers who get behind the wheel. Just one time driving drunk could result in loss of your license, fines and fees, and other related penalties. Our Atlanta underage DUI defense attorney discusses the penalties for driving drunk if you are below the drinking age and how a DUI could impact your life.
Georgia’s Zero Tolerance Policy for Those Underage
Driving while intoxicated is extremely dangerous for any driver, and all road users in the path of the drunk driver. Driving under the influence can prove even more hazardous when a young person is behind the wheel. Young drivers are already less experienced with driving and tend to have a lower alcohol tolerance. A young and intoxicated driver could end up getting themselves or others killed.
Recognizing the need to deter drunk driving among younger drivers, Georgia has instituted a zero tolerance policy. If you are under the age of 21 and an officer has you take a breathalyzer, you will be charged with a DUI even if you blow just a .01%. With this policy, the state is able to punish those underage with driving while under the influence and the act of drinking when not yet of age.
For first time juvenile offenders, the penalties for a DUI are as follows:
- If you are under the age of 15, your license will be suspended until you turn 17. You will pay a fee of $210 and must complete an alcohol consumption course
- If you are between the ages of 16 and 20, your license will be suspended for one year if you blow over .08%. If you blow below this level, your license will be suspended for six months. You must also pay a $210 fee and complete an alcohol consumption course.
In addition to the court ordered penalties, a charge of an underage DUI could impact your eligibility for scholarships, jobs, and more. As such, you will want to make sure you retain the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer to defend against the charges you face.