Hire an Attorney in Rockwall, TX, if an Underage Driver is Facing DWI Charges

by | Mar 15, 2016 | Lawyers

If a driver is under the legal age to drink, he or she can be arrested for DWI, even if they are under the BAC limit of .08%, because legal standards are different for drunk drivers under the age of 21. Click here and read below to learn more about DWI laws for underage drivers.

Zero Tolerance Laws Explained

It is against the law, in every state, for anyone under the age of 21 to possess or buy alcohol. While driving under the influence (with a BA of .08% or higher) is illegal for everyone, all jurisdictions have zero tolerance legislation for underage drivers. These laws make it a crime for a driver under 21 to have even a minuscule amount of alcohol in his or her system. Consult an attorney in Rockwall, TX, to learn about local DWI laws.

What is the Purpose of Zero Tolerance Laws?

Almost one-third of all deaths in people between the ages of 15-20 are due to car accidents, and roughly 35% of those deaths are related to alcohol, according to NHTSA. Alcohol involvement for underage drivers is twice that of those over 21, and underage drinking presents a higher risk of fatality. Jurisdictions seeking federal highway funding must set the BAC for underage drivers at .02%, as a per se offense. Here, police don’t have to prove a driver’s intoxication as long as the person’s BAC is above the limit.

Zero Tolerance Reduces Fatalities and Other Risks

A study by NHTSA comparing 24 states (12 with zero tolerance laws and 12 without) found that those with zero tolerance laws had 20% fewer fatal night time accidents with underage drivers, and these crashes are more likely to be alcohol-involved. Moreover, substantial declines in fatalities occurred in jurisdictions with underage BAC thresholds of less than .02%. Beyond the readily apparent risks posed by underage DWI, these offenses can have lifelong consequences. Early convictions can adversely affect a young person’s pre-employment background checks, and it can make it more difficult for them to get auto insurance.

For More Information

Facing DWI charges as an underage driver can be an overwhelming process. If a driver is charged with DWI and needs to understand the potential consequences he or she faces, the right thing to do is to consult a DWI attorney in Rockwall, TX. The Law Offices of Tim Hartley can advise clients about their legal rights, and a lawyer can raise possible defenses to the charges.

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