23 Mar What Are the Arizona DUI Penalties for Minors?
Often called the “baby DUI,” this DUI charge refers to what a minor in Arizona receives when they are caught drinking. In 2018 in the US, 24% of teens age 15 – 20 who were killed in car accidents had some alcohol in their system. Charges after being convicted with a baby DUI in Arizona range from community service to jail time, depending on the circumstances.
What happens when a minor gets a DUI?
As an example, let’s say Brad (age 17) drives home after drinking a little beer while watching the game at his friend’s place. Brad’s front left tire is a little flat and his car keeps pulling to the left, causing him to have to correct continuously. A police officer suspects Brad of being drunk and pulls him over for a breathalyzer test. Because of Arizona’s zero-tolerance law, the officer gives Brad a citation for driving under the influence.
Any blood alcohol level above 0.00% is illegal for driving minors. Now that Brad has a DUI charge, he faces conviction and the penalties that come along with that.
Arizona Minor DUI Penalties
If convicted, penalties for a baby DUI in Arizona, include jail time, fines, and license suspension. The charge could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation, the minor’s record, age, blood alcohol level, and other factors.
There are other negative consequences that result from a baby DUI charge as well, like the termination of a car insurance policy. Losing the ability to drive could also result in the loss of employment.
Since Brad is 17, his case will be handled by the juvenile justice system. If he was 18, he would be tried much the same as an adult (21+) who received a DUI citation. The DUI penalties in Arizona for adults are much harsher than the ones for minors.
Penalties for a Baby DUI Conviction
A minor facing a baby DUI charge in Arizona can receive jail time, although this is rare. The most common consequences are fines, license suspension, and community service.
Charges that Could Accompany an Underage DUI Charge
Typically when a minor receives a DUI charge they’re in a situation that creates the opportunity for other charges to be applied. For example, if Brad was out drinking with a license that wasn’t his, he could be charged with possession of fake identification and even identity theft. Officers may also confiscate the license.
Let’s say Brad had left a party where he’d been drinking with several underage friends, and Brad brought the alcohol to the party. On top of a baby DUI, he could receive charges for a minor in possession of alcohol and distributing alcohol to other minors.
Help for an Underage DUI Charge in Arizona
Todd Coolidge will work to see your minor DUI charges reduced or even dismissed. He provides a strong defense for Maricopa county citizens who are facing criminal charges. Many have leaned on Todd Coolidge through their DUI process, expressing gratitude for his skilled, composed, and practiced representation.
Facing a minor DUI charge has the potential to change your life. Having a criminal record as a minor will show up on background checks, making it difficult to move forward with adult life. If you or a loved one are facing any DUI charge in Arizona, call Todd’s office today.
Image used under creative commons license – CC BY ND 2.0 (3/23/2021) Mesa0789 (Flickr)