Special Consideratons When Underage Drivers Get a DUI in Georgia:
Most people know that being charged with DUI is a serious matter, and that driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more can lead to jail time, fines, probation, community service, and rehabilitation classes. However, most people do not know that drivers under age 21 are held to a much lower standard of proof, and in addition face tougher penalties.
Under Georgia law, any person under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI if his or her blood alcohol concentration is 0.02 grams percent, whether or not they are impaired or a less safe driver. This can result in a person who is guilty of DUI as a result of their age alone because it is illegal for a person to consume alcohol while under the age of 21.
In Georgia, under 21 drivers face the same or greater possible consequences in regard to jail time, fines, probation, community service, and rehabilitation classes as do over 21 drivers. However, the consequences in regard to license suspension are much harsher for drivers under 21.
Driver's License Suspension Penalties for Under 21 Drivers:
Along with other consequences associated with DUI, the driver's license suspension penalties are very stringent for underage drivers. If convicted, underage drivers with a B.A.C. under 0.08 or drivers who refused testing will receive a 6-month “hard suspension.” A “hard suspension” means there is no permit or restricted license available.
If an underage driver has a B.A.C. above 0.08, he or she will receive a 12-month "hard suspension." If an under 21-year-old driver has previously been suspended due to an offense requiring a mandatory suspension (e.g. hit & run, reckless driving, or any other offense that is four or more points) the license suspension after a DUI conviction will be 12-months, regardless of other factors.
Is This Fair?
The 0.02 B.A.C. limit for under 21 year-old drivers is not fair. A person is not even remotely impaired at that level, yet if convicted that person will face the lifetime stigma of a DUI conviction. What would be far fairer would be a new offense I call, "Driving After Consuming Alcohol While Being Underage." It would be far fairer to charge a person with what they are actually did saying someone was DUI just because he or she are under the age of 21.
If you child has been charged with DUI, call our officer as soon as possible. Many times our Georgia Juvenile DUI Lawyers can find alternatives to a lifetime criminal record. Call Now.