What you should know about underage driving under the influence (DUI) charges
If you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI), and you are between 16 and 20 years old, you need specially-trained legal counsel who fight to ensure the best possible outcome. At Pate & Knott Attorneys at Law, our Murfreesboro DUI lawyers have nearly five decades of combined legal experience and are fluent in Tennessee drunk driving laws. We vigorously defend you and protect your freedom.
How does underage DUI differ from adult DUI?
The legal drinking age in Tennessee is 21 years old. Those who are found drinking alcoholic beverages and are not at least 21 years of age can be found guilty of underage drinking. If you are also operating a motor vehicle at the time, and your blood alcohol level is over .02%, you can be convicted of underage driving under the influence —an underage DUI.
Young people who consume alcohol are more likely to drive drunk or engage in binge drinking than adults, and as a result, the penalties for underage DUI are stricter than adult drunk driving convictions. These “Zero Tolerance” regulations were introduced by the federal government and are now state law in all 50 states. Zero Tolerance is also why the legal blood alcohol level for those aged 16 to 20 is considered intoxicated at .02%, instead of .08%, the legal level of intoxication for those over 21. Our Murfreesboro underage DUI lawyers understand these special distinctions between minor and adult drunk driving arrests and effectively prepare an aggressive defense strategy.
Additional risks of an underage DUI charge
Another concern related specifically to an arrest for driving drunk under age 21 is that such an arrest is more likely to result in additional related charges. Other common charges for young people who are stopped for driving under the influence include:
- Distribution of alcohol to other minors -- Since young people are more likely to drink and drive with other minors, there is a greater likelihood that there will be passengers under 21 who are also intoxicated. Charges can be brought against the driver for supplying alcohol to other underage drinkers.
- Endangerment of a child -- Similarly, because there is a good chance that the passengers are young, the driver can be charged with putting the lives of children at risk because he or she chose to operate a car while under the influence of alcohol.
- Possession of false identification -- Teenage drinkers often obtain alcohol with the use of a fake I.D. Adults who drive under the influence are of legal age to purchase alcohol, so this charge is unique to drunk driving by minors.
These additional charges can create complicated legal challenges which require the skill and savvy of an experienced Murfreesboro underage DUI lawyer.Our attorneys deftly navigate the multiple sentencing possibilities and fight for the best possible result for your underage DUI charges.
Contact our Murfreesboro DUI lawyers if you have been charged with underage DUI
If you, or someone you care about, were arrested for driving drunk and are between the ages of 16 and 20, you risk jail time, substantial fines and revocation of your driver's license. Our Murfreesboro underage DUI lawyers launch an innovative defense on your behalf. Contact Pate & KnottAttorneys at Law at 615-848-1221 or contact us online for a free consultation. We are available evenings and Saturdays for your convenience. Our office is located on the historic square in Murfreesboro. If you are an MTSU student, we offer special, reduced rates. Underage DUIs are serious charges; contact us for the help you need today.