Drinking and driving is always a serious crime, but you have to be especially careful when you are under the legal drinking age. Many older drivers can have a drink or two and still be within the legal limits. However, an underage driver doesn’t have this same luxury. If you or your child is facing charges for an underage DWI in Minnesota, you need the help of an experienced defense attorney.
Understanding Underage DWI Charges
Minnesota law does not treat all drivers equally when it comes to impaired driving. A typical DWI in Minnesota involves an individual whose blood alcohol content is .08 or above. However, Minnesota has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the legal drinking age of 21. That means you can be charged with an underage DWI if there is even a trace of alcohol detected in your system.
Studies have shown that underage drinkers cause a higher number of alcohol-related driving injuries, so the state is very strict when it comes to alcohol and young drivers. If you are pulled over and suspected of having consumed any alcohol, you will likely face minor DWI charges.
The penalties for an underage DWI charge depend on several factors, including:
- Whether the minor’s blood alcohol content was above or below the state’s legal limit of .08; and
- If the underage driver has any previous impaired driving charges.
If the minor’s BAC is under .08, the typical punishment is a 30-day license suspension. If the BAC is over .08, the underage driver will face typical first-time DWI penalties, which include up to 90 days in jail, fines up to $1,000, and license suspension of 90 days.
When an underage driver gets another drunk driving conviction, the penalties become much stiffer. A second DWI for a minor can result in a $3,000 fine, several months in jail, and license suspension for up to a year. No matter what the circumstances are, it’s important to get help for any impaired driving incident.
Underage DWI Defense Lawyer
As soon as you are aware of an underage DWI charge against you, it’s important to consult with a qualified defense lawyer. If you try to battle the charges alone, you may find yourself, or your child, facing jail time, fines, and long term license suspension. Even worse, the charges may follow you for a very long time and make it more difficult to get a job or afford insurance. Fortunately, a defense lawyer can help prevent this fate. With a lawyer on your side, you can often have your charges reduced – or even dropped.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
When you are charged with an underage DWI, you need the best attorneys on your case. The defense attorneys at the Brown Law Offices, P.A., have helped many young clients get the best possible result for their impaired driving cases. Our attorneys work hard to make sure an underage DWI conviction doesn’t haunt the rest of your life. Call us today at 763-323-6555, or complete our online form for a free consultation.