Underage DUI in Tennessee
Experienced Tennessee underage DUI lawyers help those facing charges
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that those individuals age 12 to 20 years consume 11% of the alcohol in this country. This is an alarming statistic given that the legal drinking age is 21 years of age. Underage drinking goes hand-in-hand with alcohol-related car accidents and so, in Tennessee, those under 21 face strict standards and harsh penalties when violating the law. The Murfreesboro underage DUI lawyers at Dotson & Taylor Attorneys at Law skillfully defend those charged with underage driving under the influence (DUI), minor in possession charges, charges of false identification, and other charges related to underage drinking.
Driving under the influence (DUI) and blood alcohol content (BAC)
Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the standard for determining whether an individual is considered legally driving under the influence (DUI). Those under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol content of .02% or more can be charged with DUI.
Do I have to submit to BAC tests?
Tennessee, like all other states, has “implied consent” laws which require you to submit to a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test if you are lawfully charged with a DUI by an officer who has probable cause. The officer at the scene will determine which test you will take, which must be completed as soon as possible from the time you were last driving. While you are required to participate in these tests by law, a police officer cannot force you to submit to testing. Instead, you face penalties if you refuse to do so.
Penalties for refusing testing
If you refuse to participate in tests to determine your BAC, you face penalties that include the following:
- First time offenders will have their driver’s license revoked for one year
- Second and third time offenders will have their driver’s license revoked for two years
If you are a first time offender refusing the test and you were involved in an accident that resulted in serious injury or death, the penalties are stiffer. If a serious injury occurred, your license will be suspended for two years. If a fatality occurred, your license will be suspended for five years.
Penalties for underage DUI
In Tennessee, underage DUI charges bring the following penalties:
- First time offenders may have the driver’s license suspended for one year, be subject to fines, and face imprisonment for 48 hours to a maximum 11 months and 29 days, depending upon the BAC level found at the time.
- Second time offenders who are convicted within 10 years of the first conviction face jail time of 45 days to one year, driver’s license suspension for two years, and fines of $600 to $3,500.
Other penalties for underage drinking
In Tennessee, punishments for underage drinking are not limited to driving under the influence (DUI). It is illegal to consumer or possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage while driving. Those under the legal drinking age of 21 may also be charged with:
- Solicitation of alcohol
- Distribution of alcohol to other minors
- Minor in possession
- Using false identification to purchase alcohol
- Violation of child endangerment laws
- Additional moving and vehicle maintenance violations
Penalties for the above violations vary depending on the violation.
Underage drinking has serious consequences; our skilled Murfreesboro underage DUI lawyers can help
Being charged with underage drinking or an underage DUI brings serious consequences. Don’t fight the charges alone. An experienced DUI attorney is your best chance at a favorable outcome. The skilled Murfreesboro underage DUI attorneys at Dotson & Taylor Attorneys at Law are experienced and knowledgeable about Tennessee’s DUI laws and fight aggressively on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help, contact us at 615-890-1982 or contact us online.