If you are under the age of 21, you are prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages in the state of Alabama. Since you are not allowed to drink, you are obviously also not allowed to drink and drive. For teens who have their license and get behind the wheel, even a small amount of alcohol can result in a DUI offense under zero-tolerance laws.
If you or your child has been accused of an underage DUI, it is very important that you take action and get legal assistance from a juvenile defense lawyer as soon as possible. An underage DUI can result in a driver’s license suspension and it can also result in a criminal charge that shows up on background checks for the rest of the driver’s life- even, in some cases, if the record is sealed or expunged. A Birmingham DUI defense lawyer can help you to deal with an underage DUI case and to avoid the serious penalties and consequences that go along with an underage DUI conviction.
At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, our Birmingham Alabama DUI attorneys have helped countless teens accused of an underage DUI in Jefferson, Madison and Shelby Counties and throughout Alabama. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at (205) 981-2450 to schedule a free consultation.
In the state of Alabama, the law regarding DUI offenses is laid out in Code section 32-5A-191. According to 32-51-191(b), “A person who is under the age of 21 years shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle if there is .02 percentage or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood.” This means that a teen driver who has a blood alcohol content of between .02 and .08 percent can be considered to have committed a zero-tolerance offense under the relevant laws.
A teen who violates these zero-tolerance laws can have his driver’s license suspended or revoked for a 30 day period for a first offense. Further, while there is no general disclosure of the zero-tolerance offense on a criminal record, the zero-tolerance offense can be disclosed to courts, law enforcement agencies and the offender’s employer.
If a teen has a BAC above .08, then the teen is not just guilty of a violation of zero tolerance laws but can be considered guilty of a DUI and face much more severe consequences like those that apply to adult offenders who are above the legal limit. This means that the teen may face a longer driver’s license suspension and even, in some cases, incarceration or commitment to a secure juvenile facility. The chances of incarceration based on an underage DUI will increase with a higher BAC (above .15) and/or for repeat offenders.
Because there are serious consequences for having even a small amount of alcohol in the blood as a teen behind the wheel, it is very important to take legal action when accusations of an underage DUI are made. This means that teens accused of underage DUI, or the parents of teens accused of underage DUI, should contact an experienced Birmingham DUI lawyer as soon as possible to explore options for defending against the charges and hopefully avoiding legal sanctions.
At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we have been able to successfully help many clients to raise defenses in an underage DUI case in order to get charges dropped or to win a not-guilty verdict. The sooner we take a case, the sooner we can begin to work with you to build evidence for an underage DUI defense or to negotiate a plea bargain. That’s why it’s important to contact us as soon as you know you’ll face boating DUI charges in Alabama.
You may be under the legal age to drink and recently arrested for drunk driving. Or just as likely, you may be a concerned parent whose under-age child has been charged with a DUI. Either way, it is our hope that you are keenly aware of the implications a DUI conviction can have on such a young person’s future. A criminal record is a black mark that will stay with a young person as they seek educational and career opportunities after high school.
When it comes to our legal strategy, we handle an under-21 DUI charge the same as we would a first-time offense or felony DUI. Though Alabama Criminal Lawyers is located in Birmingham, Alabama, we have also earned a reputation in the surrounding areas and throughout the state for our aggressive approach to defending our clients. That means we put every detail of the case under a microscope. Was the initial stop justified? Were procedures followed and rights protected during the field sobriety and Breath tests? We dig deep and we leave no stone unturned because in our eyes it would truly be a travesty of justice for a young person’s life to be turned upside down when it didn’t have to be.
The legal process can be a scary one even for adults. For someone under 21, it helps to have an advocate who is not only well-versed in the laws regarding drunk driving, but who also takes pains to ensure the client and his/her family does not feel alone in this journey. We pride ourselves on the human face we bring to the practice of law, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the many successful cases we’ve handled for clients under 21 who were charged with a DUI. Now many of those clients are free to attend college and pursue their dreams.
Contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers today at (205) 981-2450 for a free consultation.