How Underage DUI Charges Can Affect Your Future
Drinking and driving can produce devastating consequences for people of any age. It is especially devastating for underage drivers who are not supposed to be drinking at all, and who have not yet begun to build their lives in the world. The consequences can be far-reaching and life-changing.
You must understand how underage drinking and driving can affect your future if you are young, or if you are a parent, how it can affect your child.
Statistics on Underage Drinking and Driving
Even though it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol (in the United States), a great number of young people are drinking. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has reported that people between the ages of 12 and 20 account for 10 percent of the country’s total alcohol consumption. That’s significant.
But young people aren’t just drinking. If they can drive, they are more likely to do so after drinking than adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that high school students drive under the influence of alcohol about 2.4 million times a month and that these drivers are 17 percent more likely to have a fatal accident as a result.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that fatal accidents among drivers ages 16 to 20 are on the rise.
Types of Injuries
Young people who get into an accident while they have been drinking are more likely to be seriously injured. Not only are their thoughts and actions impaired by their drinking, but they are less likely to make good choices because of their lack of experience.
Some of the injuries that can result in an underage DUI can include:
- Head injuries, including brain damage
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, which can also result in paralysis or impaired mobility
- Broken bones
- Major abrasions
- Nerve damage
These injuries can lead to chronic pain, limited mobility or functionality, and other issues that will lower the quality of life or change what you can do.
Consequences of Underage DUI
Besides the physical consequences of an underage DUI, the legal, social, and additional consequences can be far-reaching. To start, a DUI conviction will result in the underage person having a criminal record. That means that every time that person applies for a job, an internship, a scholarship, a volunteer position, or any other program, that conviction is going to appear and make it harder to get approved. That person will lose out on many opportunities because of that conviction, even potentially being denied to the college of their choice or losing the opportunity to get educational funding.
A DUI conviction can also come with jail time, major fines, the installation of an ignition interlock device, alcohol counseling, probation, and loss of driving privileges. All of these consequences can cause problems for the person, ranging from scheduling inconveniences to social problems to loss of opportunities.
Work with a DUI Lawyer
The consequences of a DUI conviction are long-ranging. If you are a parent, you should talk with your tween or teen about the dangers of drinking and particularly about the dangers of drinking and driving. Speak with them not only about the physical dangers, such as the injuries they can sustain, but also of the legal consequences.
If your underage child is arrested and charged with driving under the influence, call a Mesa DUI attorney as soon as possible. A good DUI defense lawyer in Mesa may be able to get those charges dropped so your child doesn’t have to live with life-changing consequences. If the charges aren’t able to be dropped, your attorney will work to get the penalties minimized.
Call Tobin Law Office today if your child has been charged with driving under the influence. Our team is committed to helping our clients fight DUI charges, no matter the age they are. But we understand how devastating a DUI conviction can be to an underage person, in particular, and we are committed to ensuring that they get the second chance that they deserve. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation with a DUI defense attorney and learn about your legal options.