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What Happens if My Teenager is Arrested for Drunk Driving?

Being arrested for drinking and driving is already a serious offense on its own. If the arrest involves someone who is not of legal drinking age, then there is even more cause for concern. If your teenager has been arrested for drinking and driving, it is imperative that you contact a skilled Maryland criminal defense attorney.

Like other states, the drinking age in Maryland is 21. If you are 21 or over and are arrested for driving with a BAC that exceeds 0.08, you will likely be convicted of a DUI. However, if the driver is under 21, Maryland has zero tolerance for underage drinking. Even a drop of alcohol in a minor’s system will get him or her a DUI. Minors will be subject to the same legal consequences of a DUI as someone who is over 21, plus the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will place additional administrative restrictions on their license.

Underage Drinking in Maryland

Maryland Code 16-113 covers underage drinking and driving by placing an alcohol restriction on all drivers who have not yet turned 21. There is no situation that allows for anyone under 21 to consume any alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a car.

If someone is arrested for underage drinking and driving, the case will be heard in the district court for the county where the individual lives, or it may go to the Maryland Juvenile Court if the defendant is a minor. The MVA will also be involved so they can ensure the teenager’s license is suspended and/or an ignition interlock is placed on the vehicle.

Defending a minor who is charged with drinking and driving is difficult when there is a breath test that shows the teenager was drinking. This is why having a skilled Charles County DUI attorney is so important.

Penalties for Drinking and Driving

Because a minor who is arrested for a DUI is subject to the same legal consequences as an adult who is arrested, your teenager could be facing a fine of up to $1,000, a one-year jail sentence, and a 120-day license suspension. Many teenagers do not think about the long-term consequences of even just one DUI, but they can add up. Someone with a DUI on his or her record might have to pay significantly higher insurance premiums, and may lose out on housing, job opportunities, or even school acceptance.

Some people are under the incorrect assumption that if their 20-year-old child has a birthday the following day and is arrested that night for drinking and driving with a 0.05 BAC, that he or she will not be prosecuted. Unfortunately, that is not how it works. If the officer opts to arrest him or her and the prosecutor moves forward with the case, your son or daughter could still be charged with a DUI.

Retaining a Criminal Defense Attorney

If your son or daughter has been arrested for a DUI, please contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at 301-705-5137 to schedule a consultation.