DUI Laws for Minors are much more strict than DUI Laws for adults.
Everywhere in the United States, it is illegal for minors (under 21 yrs of age) to drink alcohol. Pennsylvania has a specific statute directed at minors who are caught driving under the influence. Although it is illegal for minors in drink alcohol, Pennsylvania applies a “No Tolerance” policy to minors and lowers the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), making it easier for minors to receive heightened penalties if alcohol is found in their blood.
Most commonly, minors are arrested and charged with DUI while returning from what was supposed to be a harmless party at a friend’s house. While at the party, your son or daughter is offered a beer and assumes it is ok to “have just one.” He or she then gets in a car and attempts to drive home. What your child fails to realize is that he or she has two factors working against him or her. First, the bio-mechanics of a minor is going to process alcohol differently than someone much older. One drink will have a greater effect once in the blood, causing greater impairment. Second, the legal BAC limit for minors is 0.00%, not 0.08% like adults. This means that if an officer pulls over your child, and he or she so much as has the scent of alcohol on his or her breath, they will be charged with a DUI. If convicted, the penalties are very serious.
A minor may have his drivers license suspended for up to three months, and may be fined, if ANY amount of alcohol is found in his system. This is considered part of the Commonwealth’s “No Tolerance” initiative. Greater penalties will apply if the minor is driving with BAC of 0.02% or higher. For a first offense, if your minor child is charged with and convicted of a DUI with a BAC of 0.02% or higher, he or she may go to jail for 48 hours, pay a fine of $500 - $5000, attend alcohol highway safety school, and will be forced to comply with any drug and alcohol treatment. Second, third, or more offenses carry longer jail sentences with higher fines. Also, like a controlled substance, the Commonwealth does not have to prove impairment. Again, it is not only illegal for your child to drink as a minor, but your child will be charged with a DUI if ANY amount of alcohol is found in his or her blood.
If your minor is caught driving under the influence before he or she earns a driver’s license, the Commonwealth may keep him or her from getting the license for even longer. If your child is charged with a DUI, you need an attorney who is experienced working with District Attorneys to help minors avoid harsh penalties with more constructive results.
At Morrow & Artim, we offer a no cost, no obligation review of your minor's DUI or criminal law matter via a short telephone consult or an email reply. If both you and our firm agree that legal representation is required, an in-office appointment will be scheduled.Call Morrow & Artim today at 412-823-8003 to obtain the legal help that you deserve.