Underage DUI

December 15th, 2023

What leads to an underage DUI?

Ultimately, bad or irrational decisions are often caused by peer pressure. Teens often feel undue pressure to do things they would not normally do to fit in. Social media compounds this impact, and one thing leads to another, then stupid things happen. Kids often can’t see far enough into the future to realize the long-term consequences of their actions, much less the effects of harming themselves or someone else.


How serious is the teenage DUI?

Underage DUI is possibly the most severe misdemeanor my underage clients face. Because underage alcohol consumption is illegal, the standard for intoxication is lower. For an underage DUS, the blood alcohol content (or BAC) of just 0.02%, a small fraction of the legal limit. When facing an underage DUI, you should seek a criminal attorney to protect your record and future 

because an underage DUI is complicated, and laws are constantly changing. 


Underage Drinking Laws in Louisiana

No person under the age of 21 can drink alcohol legally anywhere in the United States. Bars and restaurants cannot sell minors alcohol, and the law does not allow an intoxicated minor to get behind the wheel and drive in Louisiana or anywhere else.


How can a Juvenile prevent a DUI

It all boils down to having a plan in place. Everyone needs a plan to avoid the headaches, financial strain, mandated classes, and maybe even jail time. If they are drinking with friends at home or out, they should make sure if they’re going to drive after that, there is a designated driver. The consequences of risking it aren’t worth it. If drinking is involved in the plans, underage and legal drinkers should ensure they have someone who can drive them who won’t be drinking, or they should plan to spend the night. Designated drivers and UBER or LYFT services are too easy not to embrace.


Juvenile DUI Consequences

The legal limit for intoxication for a juvenile is a BAC of at least 0.02%. If they have a BAC of 0.08% or more, the DUI is considered an adult charge and prosecuted accordingly, regardless of age. The penalty for a conviction of underage drinking and driving on a first offense can face a financial penalty of $100 – $250 and will likely be required to attend a court-approved substance abuse program. They may also have to participate in a drive education program and may even face jail time.


Second Offenses

On a second offense for underage DUI, the penalty is more severe, including an increased fine of $150 to $500, probation, and court-ordered treatment. If an accident involves severe injuries or death and a DUI is found to be the cause, the penalties are more severe. If a minor caused a serious accident because they were impaired, they could face many years in prison.

Keep in mind the laws and interpretations are continually changing. The above references rules as of 2023. As rulings come down from different courts and jurisdictions, these rules are apt to change. 

If you or someone you know has a question about underage DUI offenses, do not hesitate to contact the law office of Larrion L. Hillman at 318-549-9180. This blog is not intended as legal advice, nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. Larrion Hillman practices criminal defense in Caddo Parish, Webster Parish, Bossier Parish, and Shreveport and Bossier City Courts. And remember, keep calm and let Hillman handle it! 


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