An adult convicted of a DUI (driving under the influence) is certainly in for some troubled times ahead. An underage driver convicted of a DUI may be in even more trouble, as it places a damaging mark on their record at such an early stage of their lives.
If you are a parent of an underage driver who was arrested for a DUI in Ohio, you need to be aware that it is up to you as their legal guardian to take the initiative and protect their rights and driving privilege.
Penalties Underage Drivers May Face
If your underage child is convicted of a DUI, the first penalty will most likely be a $250 fine. If your child does not have this money under their sole control, you will be expected to pay it instead.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will enact a license suspension of two years or until your child is 18, whichever suspension will last the longest. This can be a major burden for both you and your child as you both must cope with their sudden loss of their freedom of mobility.
In cases where your child’s allegedly intoxicated driving causes an accident, resulting in significant injury, property damage, or death, they may be sentenced to 30 days in jail or a juvenile correctional facility.
Such penalties are notorious for being more detrimental to a child’s wellbeing than constructive. You should do all you can to prevent this occurrence. It should also be noted that an underage DUI charge is triggered by a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of only 0.02%, not the more-commonplace 0.08%.
Working Towards an Optimal Solution
Most Ohio State judges presiding over underage DUI cases will admit that they do not want to penalize someone so young so harshly, but they must do their duties as representatives of the justice system.
With this in mind, our Dayton DUI attorneys from Gounaris Abboud, LPA may be able to negotiate with the judge to secure your child an alternative sentencing that focuses not on punishment but instead on rehabilitation and education.
We can also support you during BMV hearings and license reinstatement procedures to make certain that the administrative side of your underage child’s DUI case goes as smoothly as possible as well.