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Common Juvenile DUI Offenses DWI, Juvenile Delinquency

Common Juvenile DUI Offenses

3 years ago by Brian
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Consumption of alcohol by juveniles is not only a serious issue but also a crime in Minnesota. It is a serious matter when an underage person chooses to drink and drive, and if your teen is facing criminal alcohol-related charges, you should contact a Woodbury DWI lawyer in Minnesota right away. 

Juvenile Drinking and Driving Crimes

An underage person faces criminal consequences if they are found driving with any amount of alcohol in their system. This is because it is a crime in Minnesota for a person under 21 to drive a car after consuming even a drop of detectable alcohol. This is the law that is commonly referred to as the “Not-a-Drop” law. It is a law intended to enforce a zero-tolerance policy on juvenile drinking and driving.

Legal Exposure for Underage Drinking and Driving

Not-a-drop. A juvenile driver who is found driving after consuming any amount of alcohol in Minnesota can be charged and, if found guilty, he or she will face a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. For a juvenile under 18, however, the case can be charged and prosecuted in juvenile rather than adult court.

A juvenile’s first Not-a-Drop offense brings with it a 30-day suspension of the juvenile’s license if they have one. The license suspension is increased to 180 days for a second offense. For unlicensed juvenile offenders, the Not-a-Drop violation imposes future restrictions on the juvenile’s ability to obtain an instruction permit, provisional license, or driver’s license.

DWI. Besides being found criminally liable for violating the Not-Drop law, a juvenile driver faces the same consequences for driving while impaired (DWI) just like any other driver found to be in violation of that law. Juvenile DWI offenders are subject to the same criminal and administrative penalties, just like all other DWI offenders. 

A juvenile driver who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more can be charged with a DWI. If convicted, the criminal and civil penalties would depend on the juvenile’s past impaired driving record and the nature and circumstances of the current DWI offense. 

Minnesota DWI law can treat juvenile drivers, i.e., those ages 16 or 17, like adults. Even though they are juveniles, these juvenile offenders can be prosecuted in adult court and receive adult DWI penalties. Drivers who are 15 or younger are prosecuted in juvenile court as “major highway traffic offenders.”

Other Associated Costs and Charges

There are costs associated with juvenile drinking besides exposure to criminal and administrative consequences. These include fines, treatment for chemical dependency, license reinstatement fees, increased insurance premiums, and legal fees. Moreover, a juvenile having a criminal or delinquency record could impact future employment, education, or housing.

Besides Not-a-Drop and DWI exposure, juvenile drivers could also find themselves in violation of other criminal and traffic laws such as:

  1. Speeding, reckless driving, and texting while driving
  2. Unlawful consumption, possession, or purchasing of alcohol
  3. Misrepresentation of age to purchase alcohol, or
  4. Possession of false identification.

Speak with a Woodbury, MN Juvenile Crimes Attorney

If your son or daughter has been arrested and charged with any of these juvenile offenses, you want J.S. Defense on your side. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation call 651-362-9426. 


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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Justin M. Schiks who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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