Colorado Springs Underage DUI Lawyers
Being charged with a DUI at any age can have serious repercussions on your life. You may have your license revoked, be charged hefty fines, and have your reputation dragged through the mud. For those under the legal drinking age of 21, otherwise known as juveniles, it can mean an end to a bright future with no chance to make up for your mistakes.
That’s why it’s so important to get in contact with an experienced legal team the moment a juvenile DUI charge is thrown your way. The attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. have the knowledge and expertise to fight for you and try to get your charges lessened or dropped. Contact us at (719) 419-8476 to see if we’re the right Colorado Springs law firm for you.
Every state in America has laws that make it unlawful for adults to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) equal to or more than the mandated level of 0.08 percent, the point at which a person is considered legally impaired. At this point of BAC, studies suggest that reaction skills, vision, concentration, equilibrium, control, and other senses may be compromised. However, for minors with typically smaller statures and still developing bodies and minds, the effects of impairment can be greater.
Under Colorado DUI laws, underage drivers are subject to more stringent standards. Minors operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol can be penalized for DUI with levels below the adult standard of 0.08 percent. Specifically, if an underage driver is found with a BAC of as much as 0.02 percent, they can be convicted of what is sometimes referred to as a "baby DUI" (the BAC range for underage DUI is from 0.02 - 0.05 percent), which carries significant legal repercussions. The consequences for juvenile driving under the influence include fines, negative points against a driving record (which are visible to law enforcement and greatly affect insurance premiums), a license suspension of three months or more, and mandatory community service.
When a minor is found to possess a BAC above 0.05 percent, he or she is charged with the same severity an adult would face with a 0.08 percent reading. Repeat underage DUI lawbreakers may lose their licenses or eventually be subject to a jail sentence depending on the severity of the circumstances. Often, second-time and repeat underage intoxicated driving violations for an individual may be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor (that will remain on a criminal record).
A person is guilty of a DUI if they operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and/or one or more other drugs. Drivers can also be charged for a DUI if it is determined that they are a “habitual user” of any controlled substance. For example, Colorado state law considers a driver to be under the influence of marijuana if their blood quantities of THC is identified as 5ng/mil or higher.
THC is the active ingredient in marijuana, and it remains in a person’s system for weeks after the drug has been used. In Colorado you can be arrested for DWAI (driving while ability impaired) for sleight impairment caused by marijuana, opiates, cocaine, or methamphetamines. Marijuana has been shown in studies to reduce reaction time, increase lane weaving, and diminish attention to the road. Opioids can impair driving ability, cause drowsiness, impair thinking, and escalate the driver’s likelihood of being involved in an accident.
When combined with alcohol, drugs substantially boost the driver’s chances of crashing. Studies have shown that drivers with THC in their blood are much more likely to be responsible for deadly accidents. The Governors Highway Safety Association conducted a study that found 43.6 percent of fatally injured drivers in 2016 tested positive for drugs and over half of the ones who tested positive for drugs had been using two or more drugs.
A DUI conviction can cause one’s driving privileges to be revoked or restricted. Being able to operate a motor vehicle to transport oneself to work is a major necessity. Without readily available transportation, an individual may find it difficult to find suitable work, and they could end up receiving lower pay and having limited opportunities for advancement. This means they may suffer financially for their indiscretion in the long run. All of that could be the result of a juvenile DUI conviction that prevents them from being given a chance to prove that the incident was a single mistake that will not be repeated.
Having a DUI conviction on their record could seriously impact your teen’s future employment prospects. You may have heard that Colorado is a “ban the box” state, which means that employers with more than 11 employees are legally forbidden to limit applicants for a new position based on their criminal records. Job applicants are also protected in Colorado because potential employers are not allowed to require potential employees to disclose previous convictions.
However, there is still a large number of job categories that require applicants to reveal their criminal convictions, including teachers, police officers, people who work in the medical field, and others whose jobs are related to public health. In fact, in order to apply for any type of employment license in Colorado, the applicant must disclose all misdemeanor and felony convictions.
The consequences of driving a vehicle while impaired are steep. Adults are expected to know better than to drink and drive, but there is a greater degree of leniency afforded to juveniles. That being said, while this leniency is available, the court system does not always take a juvenile's future into account.
Juveniles who are arrested for DUI face license suspension, mandatory alcohol awareness classes, incarceration time, and they may never gain back the right to operate a motor vehicle. However, with the assistance of an experienced criminal attorney, accused juveniles may experience lighter sentencing, and regain their license and driving privileges quicker than expected.
A DUI offense for a juvenile in Colorado can include:
- Repeal of the driver's license from 90 days to 3 years;
- Car impoundment;
- Monetary fines of $100 to $2,500;
- Mandatory attendance of alcohol and drug education classes;
- Mandatory completion of 30 to 60 days of community service;
- Potential jail time, spanning from 2 days to one year; and
- A probation period of three to five years.
The circumstances involving underage drunk driving charges are incredibly complex and delicate given the effects they can have on a young, developing person's life path. Minors charged with underage DUI should contact the experienced attorneys with The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., located in Colorado Springs, for vigilant and aggressive counsel.
Prosecutors are very aggressive when it comes DUI cases, and it takes an experienced attorney to counteract their highly combative and confrontational tactics. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., Colorado Springs juvenile crime defense attorney Timothy Bussey will not only argue for leniency in a juvenile DUI case, but will fight to ensure that your child's life is not forever impacted because of one irrational mistake made.
If your child has been charged with drinking and driving, contact us for more information on how we can help. Call (719) 419-8476 today for a FREE consultation.
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