Teenage DUI laws are stricter than one would anticipate. After all, they’re just kids, right? Well, that’s precisely the problem.
These laws, though harsh, are essential because they protect both the driver and the public. As a responsible Indianapolis resident, knowing why these laws are in place and how they affect teenagers is essential.
Let’s see why these laws exist and how they try to stop teenage drivers from getting into accidents caused by drinking.
If you would like to know more information about getting your conviction expunged, view this page.
And remember, if you need a solid defense against teenage DUI charges, contact a qualified DUI lawyer in Indianapolis from the Rathburn Law Firm without delay. Our knowledge and experience can help you get through the legal system and lessen your charges.
Overview of Teenage DUI Laws in Indianapolis
In the United States, you have to be 21 years old to drink legally, and it is a serious offense (legally punishable) for someone under 21 to drink and drive (or just drink). Different states have different DUI laws and penalties for teens, but the laws in Indianapolis and the rest of Indiana are strict.
In Indiana, if you are under 21 and have any amount of alcohol in your system, don’t get behind the wheel. You’d be making a bad situation worse. The zero tolerance law for teenage DUI in Indianapolis stipulates that if a driver under 21 is caught with any amount of alcohol in their system, their license could be taken away for up to a year.
Also, drivers under 21 can be charged with DUI if caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of.08% or higher.
In Indiana, teens who get a DUI can get fined, ordered to do community service, put on probation, or even sent to jail. The severity of the punishment depends on things like the driver’s BAC level, whether or not they have been convicted of DUI before, and whether or not anyone was hurt.
Penalties for Teen Drivers Convicted of DUI
The penalties for teens convicted of drunk driving can include:
- Revocation or suspension of their driver’s license
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Community service
- Required alcohol education or treatment
- Victim fines and compensation
- Prison term
- Loss of scholarship and financial assistance possibilities
Teens are held to stricter standards regarding drinking and driving for obvious reasons. They have less experience behind the wheel. They are more prone to make poor judgments with catastrophic repercussions.
As a result, legislatures have enacted stiffer penalties as a deterrence.
The Risk Teenagers Pose on the Road
What about teenagers makes them more dangerous to themselves and others on the road?
Well, here are a couple of things that lawmakers considered when introducing these zero-tolerance laws.
Inadequate Driving Experience
Many teenagers lack the necessary driving skills and knowledge to make safe judgments on the road. As a result, they are more prone to misjudging traffic patterns, other cars, and other road hazards.
Teens have difficulties delaying pleasure and frequently behave impulsively without contemplating the consequences. This might result in irresponsible driving or making risky judgments behind the wheel.
Teenagers are statistically more prone to participate in dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, failing to follow traffic signals, or underestimating hazards.
The Need for Stricter Punishments for Reckless Teenage Drivers
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in Indianapolis and the rest of the U.S. A lot of accidents happen because of teenage DUI. Indiana and other states have made it harder for young drivers who are caught driving under the influence to get out of trouble.
One of the main reasons for these harsher punishments is to stop young drivers from making the dangerous choice to drink and drive. If they know the dire consequences, teenagers may be less likely to do dangerous things like drinking and driving.
Another reason for these stricter penalties is to ensure that young drivers are held responsible for their actions. Even if teens don’t fully understand the seriousness of their actions, a DUI charge can seriously affect their future.
Tougher penalties for young drivers are meant to protect the public.
When a driver is impaired, they are a danger to themselves and other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers. By taking these dangerous drivers off the road and giving them harsh punishments, law enforcement ensures that the public is safe.
What to Do If Charged With Juvenile DUI in Indianapolis
If your teenage child is charged with juvenile DUI, it’s important to act immediately to protect their rights and future.
Here’s what a teen or their parents/guardians should do.
Contact a DUI Attorney
First, you should get in touch with an experienced DUI attorney who can help you through the legal process and fight for you. A DUI lawyer can help make the charges less serious and may be able to get the charges dropped or lowered.
Attend All Court Dates
You must go to all court dates and do what the judge tells you to do. Failure to do so can result in additional legal consequences.
Understand the Charges and Penalties
The DUI lawyer can explain the charges and possible penalties, such as fines, probation, community service, and jail time. They can also talk about how it might affect the teen’s ability to drive and future opportunities.
This will be important because you’ve got some serious decisions to make.
Be Cooperative During the Legal Process
It is very important to cooperate fully during the legal process and give your attorney any information or paperwork they request.
Be Honest and Take Responsibility
Being honest and taking responsibility can lessen the effects of a juvenile DUI charge (unless you were wrongfully charged). Encourage the teen to be honest about what they did and own up to their mistake.
Get Help From a Qualified Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer
Hiring a capable and experienced DUI lawyer in Indianapolis is crucial for ensuring that your child’s rights are respected throughout the teenage DUI proceedings. Your attorney will provide the legal assistance required to establish a solid case in court.
Indiana has among the strictest rules in the country regarding underage drinking and driving. That is why it is critical to engage an expert lawyer from the Rathburn Law Firm who can help you understand your rights throughout the process.
Hiring a capable Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer from our firm will ensure that your legal rights are addressed and your case is handled effectively.
We can help you in the following ways:
- Help you understand the implications of Indiana’s zero-tolerance policy on underage drinking
- Explain to you your rights when pulled over by police
- Negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf
- Provide strategies for avoiding serious punishments or jail time
Don’t delay seeking the help you so obviously need. Call us now to start building a solid defense for your case!