It is illegal for people under the age of twenty-one to drink or possess alcohol in Oregon. If they do, they could get arrested for an underage DUI charge. Even the mere possession of alcohol by a minor can lead to a charge “Minor In Possession (MIP).” The fine for MIP ranges from $260 to $1,000. The minor will also face a one-year driver’s license suspension for the first conviction of MIP. In some cases, the suspension may be lifted after 90. Driving under the age of twenty-one and drinking alcohol leads to much more serious potential penalties. Consulting a lawyer is a good idea if this happens.
In Oregon, a person can start driving once they turn 15. Here are a few different licenses that residents may have:
- Learner’s Permit: minimum age is 15
- Provisional License: minimum age is 16
- Unrestricted Driver’s License: minimum age is 18
The driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 for adults. For a commercial truck driver, driving with a BAC is only .04 or higher. If you are younger then twenty-one, any alcohol on your breath or in blood constitute possible evidence of DUI for the purposes of an administrative license suspension. Even as little as 0.01 of alcohol in your blood can lead to a driver’s license suspension.
Here is what you need to do if your underage child was arrested for DUI.
Underage DUI Allegations
Drivers who are younger than twenty-one years of age are subject to strict laws. If their BAC level shows they have drunk any amount of alcohol, they will fail the test and be arrested for on DUI charges. Most states have zero-tolerance laws. This means that if only a small amount of alcohol shows up on a test, the underage driver can be convicted for drunk driving. Teen drivers lack the judgment skills and the experience (with driving and drinking).
Potential Consequences of Underage DUI
An underage person facing DUI charges will face fines, community service, probation, alcohol treatment, mandatory license suspension, and in some cases jail time. Even a first-time DUI charge can bring very serious consequences if the incident ended with major injuries or death to another person.
In Oregon, underage DUI offenders may be eligible for a DUI diversion program. People who participate in these programs usually are required to get treatment, install interlock devices on their vehicles, pay dines, and have their license suspended for at least one year. If participants comply with all terms of the program, their DUI charges will be dismissed after they finish the program and.
Underage DUI offenders who aren’t eligible for diversion programs or who don’t finish these programs successfully are subject to the same criminal consequences as adult DUI offenders are. They will face consequences such as large fines, community service or prison time, victim impact panel attendance, license suspension, IID installation, alcohol treatment program participation, etc.
The consequences of DUI allegations won’t just disappear. Some individuals can have their DUI charges dismissed, this doesn’t always happen. Some high schools will take disciplinary action against students who are charged with underage DUI. Many colleges will not give scholarships or even acceptance to a student with a DUI charge on their record. In the future, these young people may face potential employing issues, (employers will screen for criminal charges).
How Can You Help Your Child If They Are Arrested?
Facing the arrest of your child does not mean that you are a bad parent. No matter how many times you talked about the risks of driving under the influence, teens will sometimes do the total opposite. This doesn’t mean they are bad kids, but simply the peer pressure is too high or they want to show off in front of their friends.
If your child is facing a DUI allegation, the best thing you can do is contact a DUI attorney. Don’t think that if you have a teen son or daughter that the DUI allegations won’t be serious or that they can be removed from their record. A skilled attorney will help you with your case, offering much-needed guidance in this process by preparing a DUI defense and giving their best to represent your child’s rights in court.
Although you may still end up paying penalties, a good attorney will make sure that you pay a lesser amount and face a milder punishment.
This is a serious issue that may affect your child’s future education, employment, and record. Contact our office today and schedule your initial consultation. We offer you a free case review.