What Happens If My Underage Child Was Caught Drinking and Driving?
As it is in every state, it is illegal to drive in Connecticut while impaired by alcohol. For adults, the standard often used to determine if a motorist is impaired according to the law is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above. However, the same rules do not apply to drivers under 21 years of age. For underage drivers, it is unlawful to drive with a BAC greater than 0.02. Even just a single drink may elevate a young person’s BAC to a level that makes it illegal to drive. If your child has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), it is important to educate yourself about the consequences he or she faces as well as the rights of underage criminal defendants in Connecticut.
Criminal and Administrative Proceedings for Underage DUI in Connecticut
There are two categories of penalties DUI offenders face in Connecticut. Administrative penalties include an immediate 6-month driver’s license suspension. If the underage offender has previously been arrested and charged with DUI, the license suspension period is increased to one year. If the driver is under 18 years old, the police may seize the driver’s license upon arrest and have their car towed.
A first-time underage DUI offender faces criminal penalties including a jail sentence of up to six months, up to $1,000 in fines, and probation. The offender may also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle he or she plans to drive after the suspension period is up.
Connecticut’s Pretrial Diversion Program
Young people make mistakes. Fortunately, there may be a way for your child to avoid a criminal conviction after driving under the influence. The Pretrial Diversion Program is a program available to first-time underage DUI offenders. Your child’s level of alcohol dependency will be evaluated by a substance abuse professional. This professional makes a recommendation to the court about the criteria your child must meet to complete the diversion program. Your child may be required to attend 10 to 15 intervention classes or a minimum of 12 therapy sessions depending on the results of the evaluation. If your child completes the program, their case may be dismissed entirely.
Contact a Fairfield County Underage DUI Lawyer
If your child has been arrested for drinking and driving, you need a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side. Stamford criminal defense attorney Daniel P. Weiner can explain all of your legal options and ensure that your child’s rights are not violated. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 for a free, confidential consultation today.