What to Do When Your Teenager Gets a DUI in Arizona
Teenagers will often do rash, reckless things. Some of their behaviors, however, could jeopardize their well-being and the lives of others. Committing DUI ranks among one of the most serious offenses a parent will have to address. Arizona is one of the states that have a zero tolerance policy towards underage drinking and driving. You should be aware of the potential consequences and the best course of action in case your teenager gets a DUI in Arizona.
Underage DUI Arizona Laws
While DUI penalties in Arizona are pretty harsh, the sanctions are even more serious when the guilty party is under the age of 21.
According to Arizona DUI regulations, vehicle operators under the age of 21 commit a DUI whenever their blood alcohol content (BAC) reading is above a 0.00. Whenever they consume alcohol or take drugs before driving, teenagers risk having their license revoked. Fines and high insurance costs are other possible consequences of underage DUIs.
What’s even more troubling is the fact that a criminal record could potentially be created for such a young person. A first-time underage offender could be charged with Class 1 misdemeanor. The situation is even more serous for repeat offenders.
A second offense could lead to penalties like a jail sentence of up to 90 days, a one-year license suspension and a fine of up to 2,500 dollars.
A teenager gets a DUI in Arizona as stated in the Arizona Revised Statutes 4-244(34).
What to Do When Your Teenager Faces DUI Charges
Proving underage drunk driving is a lot easier than regular DUI processes. There’s a simple reason why – there are no blood alcohol thresholds the prosecution will have to establish. Even if a teen has a BAC reading of 0.01 percent, they could be convicted of driving under the influence.
The consequences of a DUI conviction are long-lasting. A young person may experience problems when it comes to obtaining quality education, as well as societal troubles. They could be forced to enter a treatment program and community service is also a possible outcome.
As a parent, you will need to acquaint yourself with the situation and the severity of the offense. You should get in touch with an experienced lawyer as soon as you find out that your child faces a DUI conviction.
A lawyer will acquaint themselves with the situations and the charges. Often, DUI charges are paired with eventual sanctions for other criminal offenses like minor in possession of alcohol, the possession of a fake ID card, soliciting alcohol, child endangerment, distribution of alcohol to minors and moving violations.
If such charges get established via evidence, they will lead to additional jail time and fines. Needless to say, a criminal record will also be created.
The defense scenarios for underage DUI are similar to the strategies that lawyers will employ in the case of regular impaired driving. An illegal stop or a violation of one’s constitutional rights are a typical first line of defense.
An attorney may also be capable of proving a teenager was not in actual physical control of the vehicle at the time they were interrogated by a police officer. A person who has pulled over on the side of the road and is sitting or sleeping on the backseat at the time of the police stop can easily challenge the physical control of the vehicle requirement.
Errors in the BAC test or a faulty field sobriety test could also be challenged to get rid of some evidence.
Don’t underestimate the importance of solid defense in the case of underage DUIs. A DUI conviction could lead to a severe limitation on future opportunities for your child. Find a good lawyer and together, you can build a solid strategy that will yield the best possible results under the circumstances.