Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state, no matter your age. However, if you’re arrested for a DUI and are under the legal limit to consume alcohol, the laws, penalties, and procedures you may face are different than the laws pertaining to adults of legal drinking age. In fact, a person charged with an underage DUI will most likely face more severe penalties since they are seen to be more of a danger on the road and cause the most auto accidents of any other age group.
If you or a loved one is facing underage DUI charges for driving while intoxicated in Springfield, MO, you need to know what you’re up against and hire the best defence to fight the charges against you. The attorneys at DWI Springfield have an extensive background in working with both regular and juvenile DUI charges and can help you create a solid defence to either reduce the charges or dismiss the DUI charge.
Read on for more information about the laws on underage DUI charges, the penalties involved, and how a DUI attorney can help.
Underage Drunk Driving Laws in Missouri
Missouri has a no-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. This is made apparent by the state’s Abuse and Lose Law. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, this Law states that, If ordered by the court, anyone under 21 years of age may have his or her driving privileges suspended for 90 days. This is for the first offence! Additionally, a person who is under 21 years old can have his or her license revoked for one year for a second offence. According to this Law, license suspension or revocation can occur for any of the following reasons:
- Any alcohol-related traffic offence.
- Any offence involving the possession or use of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.
- Any offence involving the possession or use of drugs.
- Any offence involving the alteration, modification, or misrepresentation of a driver’s license.
- A second offence involving the possession or use of alcohol by someone under 18 years of age.
- If ordered by the court, anyone 21 years of age or older may have his or her driving privilege revoked for one year for possession or use of drugs while driving.
Additionally, if a person who is under 21 years old is pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence in Springfield and their BAC is .02% or more, they will be charged with a DUI. Conversely, an adult would only be charged with a DUI if his or her alcohol content was .08% or higher.
Underage DUI Penalties
In addition to immediate license suspension or revocation (depending on the nature of the charge), the following are penalties that someone can expect to face if they are convicted of an underage DUI in Springfield:
- First Offense – For a first-time offence, a young person convicted of a DUI may face up to 6 months in jail, fines up to $500, immediate license suspension for at least 30 days and not to exceed 90 days. A first time offender will also be required to attend and complete a certified alcohol and drug treatment program.
- Second Offense– Subsequent offences within a five year period include fines up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to one year, and license revocation for one year. A conviction like this will also require you to complete an alcohol treatment program along with probation for a certain amount of time.
Let A DUI Attorney Help
Apart from the fines, increased insurance premiums, and possible jail time, you’ll face if you are convicted of underage driving under the influence in Springfield, you will also come up against additional challenges. These include but are not limited to:
- Potential denial into the college of your choice
- Suspension or expulsion from school
- Loss of scholarships, grants, and financial aid
- Challenges getting a well-paying job or career
With this in mind, it’s critical to your future that you hire an attorney to help you fight DUI charges in Missouri. Most law firms will offer a no-obligation consultation to go over your case with you. Contact DWI Springfield today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Your future depends on it.