An exciting accomplishment for many teenagers is to receive their driver’s license. Driving allows teens and adults easy transportation and independence, but this freedom does not come without responsibility. Each person operating a motor vehicle is prohibited from being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Despite this, many teens encounter trouble with the law for underage drinking and driving under the influence. In Louisiana alone, fifteen driving fatalities were attributed to underage drinking behind the wheel in 2019.
If your child has gotten a DUI in Louisiana, you may be wondering what to do. At John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, our trustworthy attorneys have helped many teens navigate through the challenges and penalties of facing an underage DUI. No parent wants their child to go through legal proceedings on their own. Our skilled legal team may be the help your teen needs to fight a DUI charge and improve the outcome of their future.
Understanding Underage DUIs in Louisiana
It’s no surprise that drunk driving is against the law and has led to severe accidents or fatalities over the years. For underage drinkers, the consequences of drunk driving often equate to those of adult offenders. As a parent, it is challenging and problematic to think of your child going to jail or encountering the consequences of drinking and driving.
In Louisiana, an underage DUI occurs when an individual operates a car, boat, or another vessel with a BAC higher than 0.02% while under twenty-one. In a standard DUI, any BAC over 0.08% is illegal. Since the legal drinking age is twenty-one, any crimes involving alcohol and drunk driving for teens are severe. With a skilled attorney on your case, you may be able to diminish any charges or face lesser penalties.
What Are the Penalties for Underage Drunk Driving?
Understandably, the court imposes severe penalties for offenders of alcohol-related or drug-related crimes. Law enforcement officers are working to keep the streets safe with so many accidents and fatalities attributed to operating a vehicle while under the influence. Depending on circumstances such as a traffic accident or a BAC level significantly higher than the legal limit, a teen driver may lose their license and encounter even worse penalties.
Penalties for underage DUIs in Louisiana include:
- First Offense: Punishable by up to two days jail time or thirty-two hours of community service, up to $1,000 in fines, license suspension of between 180 days and up to one year.
- Second Offense: Up to 240 hours of community service or fifteen days in jail, a maximum $1,000 fine, and up to a two-year suspension.
- Third Offense: One-year jail sentence or a court-appointed diversion program.
Many times, teens and young drivers also encounter higher insurance rates after a DUI. Contacting an attorney that understands the law and specializes in DUI cases may help your child resolve any court proceedings without delay. Whether by negotiating with the prosecution or arguing against any charges, your best bet is in the hands of a dedicated attorney.
Steps to Take if Your Teen Gets a DWI in Louisiana
The future impact of an underage DUI surpasses any fees or jail time, as many teens or underage drinkers are faced with fewer educational and employment opportunities due to criminal record convictions. As a parent, there are a few steps you can take to help your child fight the charges against them:
- Hire an experienced Louisiana underage DUI attorney.
- Work with your attorney to set bail while awaiting trial.
- Help your child attend any required court dates with their lawyer.
- Work with an attorney to help your child restore their driving privileges.
- Support and help your teen during any court-appointed alcohol treatment programs.
Having a child be arrested for drunk driving can cause difficulties for families, especially with the risk of dealing with severe consequences even during a first offense. With a skilled attorney’s support and legal aid, your child may get the help they need to secure a better future and resolve any trouble with alcohol-related offenses.
Call Eric G. Johnson for an Aggressive Criminal Defense in a Teen Drunk Driving Case
A parent never wants to see their child in trouble with the law, especially in a DUI case. At John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, our legal team understands the challenges and hardships that mistakes can bring to teen years. Additionally, getting into trouble in the teen years can gravely affect an adult’s opportunity for jobs, financial opportunities, education, and other essential aspects of life.
Despite this, our experienced lawyer Eric G. Johnson has helped many clients navigate DUI cases and restore their records. Regardless of the circumstances, our legal team works diligently to protect your rights, refute the prosecution’s claims, and may gather the evidence you need to lessen your chances of being penalized. To help your child’s chances of restoring their record and resolving a DUI crime, complete a contact form or call our office at (318) 377-1555.