Underaged drinking is against the law, but when your teenager has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI), the penalties of a conviction will be far more severe than a simple underaged drinking citation.
Thankfully, when you reach out to a seasoned drunk driving lawyer in Indiana, there are steps you can take to help your teen avoid the serious consequences that come with an OWI conviction. Read on to learn more about the penalties associated with teen drinking and driving, and how an attorney can help your child move forward with their lives following an arrest.
Ramifications for Underaged Drinking
For someone who is twenty-one or older, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of a driver should always be less than 0.08 percent, but for underage drivers, a BAC level of 0.02 percent or more is considered grounds for an OWI charge.
If convicted, your teen could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to sixty days in jail, a 180-day license suspension, and fines not to exceed $500.
However, if your teen was found to have a BAC of 0.15 percent or greater, or if they put someone else’s life in danger due to their drinking and driving, then they’ll be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, this charge carries a sentence of up to one year in jail, a one-year license suspension, and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Additionally, your teen could be ordered to complete an alcohol rehabilitation program, serve a specific number of community service hours, or even be placed on probation.
As their parent, you might be concerned that working with an attorney means that you’re condoning your teen’s actions, but when the consequences of an underaged OWI conviction are so high, this is a time when your child needs you the most.
Building a Powerful Defensive Strategy
There are a number of different defenses your attorney could use to help your teen beat their OWI charges. Typically, it will make the most sense to question whether the police officer who pulled them over had probable cause to do so, or to argue that the results of the breathalyzer or chemical testing were invalid.
Your lawyer could also argue that law enforcement failed to follow the appropriate protocol if your teen was not properly Mirandized at the time of their arrest. Furthermore, we also have the option of working with the prosecutor to have your teen’s charged reduced by agreeing to participate in an alcohol treatment or driving program, depending on the individual details of their case.
Get in Touch with an Indiana Drunk Driving Lawyer
If you’re interested in helping your teen pick up the pieces of their life after being arrested on an OWI charge, consult a qualified Indiana drunk driving lawyer at Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm at your earliest convenience. You can even schedule your free case evaluation today by filling out the quick contact form at the bottom of this page or by calling our firm directly at 1-812-232-7400.