Houma, LA- A 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Study by Centers for Disease Control, found that least 10 percent of teens who participated in the survey admitted to driving drunk within in the last 30 days. Even more alarming, 22 percent of teens admitted to riding with a riding with a drunk driver. Eventually, some teens who admit to driving drunk are going to be charged with a DUI, so it’s crucial teens, and their parents know the consequences of an underage DWI in Louisiana.
In Louisiana, the legal drinking age is 21 but unlike most other states there are some exceptions. A person under that age of 21 can drink in private places as long as they have the approval of a legal guardian, at a restaurant or catered affair with guardian approval or for medical or religious purposes.
But being allowed to drink in limited settings doesn’t make drinking and driving any less illegal and in Louisiana, the laws pertaining to underage DWIs are more stringent than for adults. An underage driver is considered above the legal limit if their blood alcohol limit exceeds 0.02 percent.
What are the consequences for underage DWI in Louisiana?
Penalties for first DWI under 21 include two days to 6 months in jail, fines up to $1,000 and license suspension for at least 90 days.
Penalties for second DWI under 21 include 30 days to 6 months in jail, fines up to $1,000 and licenses suspension of up to one year.
Those penalties are bad enough but often underage DWI offenders face additional criminal charges and penalties. Other charges teen DWI offenders face includes additional traffic violations, minor in possession of alcohol, distributing alcohol to a minor, child endangerment and soliciting a minor.
Refusing to submit to sobriety or chemical tests won’t allow a teen driver to avoid a DWI charge since Louisiana has an implied consent law which requires all driver’s license holders to agree to a breath or blood test if an officer asks. A violation of Louisiana’s implied consent laws carries a different set of penalties that are just as legally consequential as a DWI.
Luckily for teens, prosecutors in Louisiana might offer them a plea bargain for a lesser charge such as wet reckless, but getting a plea bargain takes someone who can vigorously negotiate on your behalf. If you were arrested for DWI and are underage, you need legal advice. USAttorneys can connect you with DWI lawyer in Louisiana who can answer your questions and help you make the important decisions about your case.
Most people don’t realize the consequences of a DWI conviction, so they don’t understand the importance of obtaining legal assistance. By retaining one of the DWI lawyers at USAttorneys, you have an opportunity to avoid conviction and minimize the consequences you are facing. If you live in Houma, Louisiana we recommend you contact the law offices of Troy Broussard and set up a consultation.