Being charged with a DUI can be a life changing experience and there are many things to be taken into consideration when starting to defend your DUI case. Yet many people are unaware of what happens when a person under the legal drinking age of 21 is convicted of a DUI.

Firstly an officer will pull over a vehicle that he/she suspects is being maneuvered by someone under the influence of alcohol. Then, the officer has the right to request a BAC (blood alcohol level) test. If the driver has a BAC level that is over 0.02%, (the legal limit) the officer has the right to detain the driver regardless of age. If the underage driver refuses to “blow”, their license will be immediately suspended for one year, and if this is a second occasion, it will be revoked for 18 months.

After being detained, the driver has ten days to petition for a hearing. This is the ideal time to hire a lawyer because the hearing is what will determine the near future of the defendant's driving capabilities. Driving under the influence while under the legal drinking age is neither a traffic violation nor criminal offense, unless the BAC is higher than 0.08% (which then it is automatically a criminal defense regardless of age,) and requires unique attention compared to traditional DUI cases.

Administrative Suspensions and Temporary Permits for Underage DUI

Underage drivers convicted of DUI will be granted a temporary driving permit, which is only valid for 10 days. Attaining a temporary permit is only possible by filing for an administrative review hearing. For the hearing, it is very important to have a lawyer represent you because the hearing will bring up evidence against you and only an experienced attorney can rightly defend you and the specifics of your case. Having a lawyer may also increase your chances of attaining a permit with a longer driving period.

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