Driving under the influence (DUI) can have serious consequences no matter how old you are. For underage drivers, additional penalties may apply. If you are facings charges for DUI under 21 years old, it's important to understand the various factors that could influence your case.
Arizona Underage DUI Laws
Per Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 4-244
, it is unlawful for someone under 21 years of age to be in control of a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. Even a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01 could result in a DUI conviction. There also does not need to be evidence of impairment. Underage DUI is a class 2 misdemeanor. It is punishable with up to six months of jail time and fines of up to $750. There is also a mandatory two-year license suspension
In addition to underage DUI laws, individuals under 21 are also subject to the more general state laws for drunk driving. ARS 28-1381
states that if an individual is "impaired to the slightest degree" by alcohol or drugs and is in "actual physical control" of a vehicle, they can be charged with DUI. A BAC of 0.08 or higher is evidence of impairment. This is often called the legal limit
, although an arrest can occur even if someone has a lower BAC. If a driver under 21 has a BAC over 0.08 or showed signs of impairment, they can face charges for the standard "adult" DUI. This is in addition to charges for underage DUI.
Other Charges for DUI Under 21 Years Old
If law enforcement catches you drinking and driving while under 21, you will often face other criminal charges in addition to DUI. Minor in possession (MIP) and minor in consumption (MIC) are common in these cases. Both can occur at the same time. MIP is a class 1 misdemeanor and MIC is a class 2 misdemeanor. Depending on how you obtained the alcohol, a court could also convict you of soliciting alcohol or possession/use of a fake ID.
In addition to specific laws for underage drivers, there are many charges that can accompany DUI
for individuals of any age depending on the circumstances of the arrest. For example, you could be charged with aggravated assault if you caused an accident that injured another driver.
Consequences of Underage DUI
A DUI record
can affect your life significantly. It could impact your educational and employment opportunities, raise your insurance rates, and make it harder to find housing. This is stressful for anyone regardless of age, but it can be even more overwhelming if you are under 21 and facing multiple types of charges. Having a DUI lawyer on your side can help make your situation more manageable.
Attorneys for DUI Under 21
Our lawyers have extensive experience with DUI cases, including underage DUI. We can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
If you are being charged with DUI under 21 years old, contact us today.