What Do I Do If I Am Under 21 And Charged With A DUI In Louisiana?
In Louisiana, as in the rest of the United States, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol. This law is still in effect during Mardi Gras despite increased alcohol consumption amongst adults during this period of celebration. Persons under the age of 21 can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) for operating a motor vehicle (which, again, can include not only a car or truck but also a boat or a motorized scooter or skateboard) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or higher. Penalties for such a charge can result in fines, license suspension, community service, and even jail time. It is important to remember to not consume alcohol if you are under the age of 21, and to drink responsibly regardless of your age, especially if you plan on operating a motor vehicle. However, if you are under the age of 21 and charged with a DUI, we can help you better understand your rights and the potential impacts these charges will have on your future.
What is a DUI for Minors?
Individuals under the age of 21 will be charged with a DUI for operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft with a blood alcohol concentration of .02% or higher. If your BAC is .08% or higher, which is the legal limit for adults, you will be charged as an adult regardless of your age.
For an individual under the age of 21, your first conviction can result in a fine of $100 to $250 and a jail sentence of 10 days to 3 months. Alternatively, the court can substitute those penalties for probation. On probation, you would need to perform 32 hours of community service and participate in a court-approved substance abuse and driving program.
If a person under the age of 21 is convicted of a second DUI, they will be fined between $250 and $500 and be sentenced to 30 days to 6 months in jail. Alternatively, the court can place you on probation instead. For a second offense, the individual will have to serve 48 hours in jail or perform 80 hours of court-approved community service, participate in a substance use program, and participate in a driver improvement program.
How Does This Impact My Future?
A DUI charge will appear on your driving record, which can be permanent in some cases. A DUI will also result in increased car insurance rates. In some cases, a DUI can also impact your ability to obtain admission to college and/or receive certain scholarships.
Any DUI charges you receive as a minor will not be on your public record as an adult. However, once you are an adult, it can be on your record potentially forever.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you are under the age of 21 and have been charged with a DUI in Louisiana, the sooner you or your child enlist a New Orleans criminal lawyer, the better. Call 504-433-1442 for a free consultation with one of our aggressive and talented trial attorneys at the Palazzo Law Firm today. At this consultation, we will listen to your story, identify potential legal arguments, and educate you about your rights. We will formulate and implement a winning strategy that meets your needs.