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What happens to a teenager convicted of a DUI offense?

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Every driver’s education program in South Carolina teaches teenagers who want to get their license about traffic safety laws. Education about alcohol impairment is mandatory for those who want to get their license. A significant blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will lead to someone’s arrest during a traffic stop or after they cause a collision.

While adults face an arrest with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, underage drivers can end up charged with a crime if they have a BAC of just 0.02%. If your teen driver recently got arrested due to allegations of driving under the influence (DUI), how should you handle their underage DUI charges?

Recognize the impact of a conviction

If your child pleads guilty, the consequences of an underage DUI could affect them for years. They will lose their license. A first-time offense will cost an underage driver their license for three months. Anyone with a prior DUI offense on their record will lose their license for six months.

They will be subject to higher insurance costs, which could affect your whole family’s budget. They may even have a harder time gaining enrollment at an institute of higher education. Students will lose their eligibility for state-funded scholarships and grants for a full year after a second DUI. Any DUI offense will make a student ineligible for the state individual income tax credit.

You are in a position to help your child learn from this mistake and keep it from affecting the rest of their life.

A solid defense can reduce the consequences

The appropriate response to DUI charges will depend on the nature of the situation. From challenging the chemical test results to raising questions about the validity of the initial traffic stop, there are multiple ways that you could help your child defend against underage DUI charges.

Instead of leaving them at the mercy of the system and letting them gamble their future, you may instead want to impress upon them the seriousness of the charges and also the importance of not repeating the same mistake by supporting their attempts to defend against the charges. Helping your child respond to an underage DUI charge will potentially help them have a safer and more fruitful future.