Underage DUI in Minnesota
2 years ago by Brian
The legal consequences of underage drinking and driving in Minnesota are so severe that if you are underage, it is best to not even think about drinking and driving. Besides legal consequences, an underage person who is arrested for underage drinking and driving also faces non-legal consequences that are equally devastating.
At JS Defense, Attorney Justin M. Schiks has years of experience helping underage drivers who have been caught driving with alcohol in their system with the objective of helping them avoid or minimize these consequences.
Legal Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving in Minnesota
Not-a-drop. Minnesota has what is known as “Not-a-drop” law, which is basically a law that makes it a misdemeanor for anyone under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle while having any amount of alcohol in his or her system.
A misdemeanor in Minnesota and Washington County carries a penalty of up to 90 days in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000 fine. If the offender is a young person under the age of 18, then the offense is prosecuted in juvenile and not in adult court.
In addition to the potential jail time and fines, a first-time offender’s license is also suspended for 30 days. If this is a second offense for a person under 21, the license suspension is increased to 180 days.
If the offender does not have a valid license, then the violation earns them future restrictions on the offender’s ability to get an instruction permit, provisional license, or driver’s license.
DWI. An underage driver who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more can be charged with driving while impaired (DWI). A conviction for drunk driving brings with it criminal and civil penalties that range in severity depending on the person’s prior impaired driving record and the facts and circumstances involved in the current DWI offense.
An offender who is 16 or 17 is treated as an adult under Minnesota DWI law. This means that, notwithstanding the fact the offender is a juvenile, he or she will be prosecuted as an adult and receive DWI penalties on the books for adults.
Those who are 15 years old or younger are prosecuted in juvenile court, where the penalties are not as severe as those for adults.
An underage drinking and driving offender also faces additional costs besides fines, such as costs related to chemical dependency treatment and license reinstatement fees.
Collateral Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving
Besides the direct legal consequences, there are other serious collateral consequences that emanate from an underage drinking and driving arrest. Some of these consequences include:
- Negative impact on the offender’s application for college admission, employment, and even obtaining a professional license. A DWI arrest or conviction serves as a red flag in seeking any of these opportunities and can have adverse consequences.
- A conviction also creates a permanent record in Minnesota, which means it will always be there regardless of how long ago the conviction occurred. In some cases, and with the help of an experienced Washington County, DWI attorney, a conviction for underage drinking and driving or drunk driving may be expunged.
Contact a Woodbury, MN Juvenile DWI/DUI Lawyer
If you or your child has been arrested for underage drinking and driving, contact our office today for a free consultation. JS Defense, PA, is ready to help. Call. 651-362-9426