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What happens when a teenager is caught drinking and driving?

Drinking and driving is a serious offense for anyone. In a report filed by the state of Indiana, over 4,000 DUIs were cited in 2015, which includes both misdemeanor and felony-level charges.

Any type of DUI charge should be fought against. It becomes particularly important when the person getting charged is younger than 21 years old. In these situations, a different set of laws is applied.

First offense

For adults over 21 years old, any blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or over results in a DUI. However, for those younger than 21, that BAC level goes down to 0.02.

When minors have a BAC between 0.02 and 0.08, they will most likely have to pay a fine and face license suspension. In the event the BAC is over 0.08 for a minor, then going to prison is on the table. A minor could end up in jail even after a first offense.

After a minor’s first DUI, it may be impossible to secure car insurance the following year. Even if it is still available, there will be a hefty increase in monthly payments.

Second offense

For a second conviction within five years of the first, a minor could face between five days and three years in jail. There may also be a fine and license suspension of up to two years.

Other possible charges

When minors are caught drinking and driving, a DUI may not be the only charge applied. A minor could also face the following charges:

  • Possession of fake identification if alcohol was acquired via a fake I.D.
  • Child endangerment
  • Distribution of alcohol to minors
  • Solicitation of alcohol

No one should operate a vehicle while intoxicated, and minors need to think about their futures well before getting behind the wheel of a car drunk. The consequences are far too great, and it is never worth it.

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Todd L. Sallee, Attorney at Law

155 East Market Street, Suite 450
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: 317-643-5507
Fax: 317-630-4824
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