The Consequences of Underage DUI in Arizona
Arizona ranks among the states that adopt a zero tolerance policy towards underage drinking. Committing a DUI under the age of 21 can have both immediate and long-term implications. Here are a few of the most important consequences of underage DUI in Arizona to acquaint yourself with.
Underage DUI Penalties in Arizona
The most immediate effect of committing underage DUI is the legal sanction you will face.
People under the age of 18 who commit a DUI in Arizona will fall under juvenile laws. Those in the age range between 18 and 21 will be treated as adults. Blood alcohol concentration of more than zero will lead to serious legal consequences.
Juvenile penalties for driving under the influence are typically less severe than the sanctions adults will face. Jail time is not a requirement in the case of juvenile DUI convictions. A license suspension that usually spans the period of two years is a common sanction for individuals under the age of 18. A court-mandated substance abuse program could also be a part of the verdict.
Aggravating factors like excessively high BAC or being involved in a traffic accident that sees injuries will contribute to more serious penalties.
People aged 18 to 21 can see a sentence of up to 24 months of license suspension, the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) and up to six months in jail. These sanctions apply to a first-time offender who hasn’t consumed excessive amounts of alcohol. Aggravating factors will contribute to a much more serious penalty.
Apart from being charged with DUI, a person under the age of 21 could see additional charges. Some of the common ones include:
- Minor in possession
- Distribution of alcohol to other minors
- Possession of a false ID
- Child endangerment law violations
Each one of these additional charges comes with its specific penalties and negative consequences.
The Long-Term Consequences of Underage DUI in Arizona
The effect of underage DUI isn’t exhausted by the court-ordered sanctions. Young people who drive under the influences may have to deal with much more long-lasting consequences.
Changes in one’s insurance policy are very common after DUI. Some insurance companies may even terminate the policy in the case of underage DUI. Alternatively, the cost of the premium will increase and the family will have to handle the financial implications.
If a license has been suspended, the DMV will ask for SR-22 certificate – a costly type of insurance that is needed for license reinstatement.
Driving under the influence can result in injuries, as well as emotional trauma. The scope of these issues is not easy to assess immediately. Very often, young people who commit DUI will experience health problems some time after the accident has occurred.
In the case of somebody else being injured, civil proceedings may be launched alongside the criminal ones. The remedy in civil lawsuits is financial compensation that’s provided to the family of the person who has either been injured or killed. Such compensation will have to cover an array of things like medical expenses, burial costs, emotional trauma and loss.
Whenever a child is convicted of DUI, the conviction will remain on their criminal record for years. Needless to say, such a record could have an impact on education and career opportunities. In a sense, the future of a young individual could be jeopardized because of driving under the influence.
If you’re a parent, make sure that your teenager is aware of the risks and the eventual consequences of underage DUI in Arizona. In case you’re already dealing with DUI charges, get in touch with an experienced attorney immediately. An Arizona DUI lawyer will acquaint themselves with the specifics of the case and the evidence. If possible, the scope of the sanctions will be minimized or the case will be dismissed altogether.