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Underage drunk driving and your child’s college career

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2022 | College Student Criminal Defense

As a parent of a child who attends the University of West Georgia, you have tried to instill positive values and to teach your child that actions have consequences. You knew that there would be influences that could impact your child’s decisions at school, but you didn’t expect them to call you after a DUI arrest.

Since your child isn’t over the age of 21, they can be charged with underage drinking and driving. The penalties for an underage DUI could include the loss of their driver’s license for at least six months if the amount of alcohol in their system is under .08%. If it is over .08%, then they can face the same penalties as adult drivers.

Georgia is a zero-tolerance state

Georgia has no tolerance for underage individuals drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel. As a result, your child can be penalized for having any amount of alcohol in their blood. There are exceptions to this rule that you can get to know, though, such as if your child participated in a religious service or was driving due to necessity, such as if they were fleeing an assault or abuse.

If your child’s blood alcohol concentration was .08% or higher, then you should expect them to be charged as an adult. A first-time DUI has penalties that may include:

  • 10 days to a year in jail
  • A required DUI risk reduction course
  • 40 hours of community service
  • Up to a year of probation
  • A suspended license for up to a year
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

These penalties may vary from case to case based on the evidence provided to the court, your child’s situation and if they’ve been accused of DUIs in the past. If they do have DUIs in their history, then they could face much harsher penalties.

Since your child is attending a university right now, you should check with the school to see what its rules are. Some schools will revoke scholarships or membership in certain organizations if a student gets a DUI conviction. For this and other reasons, it’s important to look into building a strong defense.

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