Cuyahoga County, OH- It’s no secret that teen drivers are risk prone especially behind the wheel of an automobile. They speed, text and, too often, they drink and drive. In their 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Study, the Centers for Disease Control found that 10 percent of teens surveyed admitted to drinking and driving. That’s a large percentage of teens potentially facing an OVI charge in Ohio and the associated penalties, which we will discuss.

Ohio’s legal drinking age is 21 years, like most states, but there are some exceptions. With the consent of a legal guardian, a person under the age of 21 is allowed to drink on private premises or a restaurant. There are also exceptions for religious ceremonies and medical purposes.

Even though minors are allowed to drink in some situations, they are not allowed to drive while impaired. No Ohioan is, no matter what their age. A teen driver is considered impaired if their blood alcohol concentration exceeds 0.02 percent or more. For adults, the legal limit is 0.08 percent, so teens have a much lower bar to meet before being charged with an OVI.

If you are underage and have been charged with an OVI in Cuyahoga County, USAttorneys recommends you speak with a DUI lawyer near your Ohio location. Young OVI offenders are in danger of adversely impacting their future educational prospects and professional prospects.

If you are convicted of an underage DUI, you ten days up to one year in jail, fines between $500 and $1,000 and suspension of your driver’s license for six months to three years. For a second OVI in Cuyahoga County, an underage driver faces up to one year in jail, fines between $350 and $1,500 and a license suspension period of one year up to five years.

Legal matters get worse for underage OVI offenders because they often face other charges like possession of alcohol by a minor, distributing alcohol to a minor and child endangerment, so they face additional penalties. They also risk having a criminal record that can be seen by employers and anyone else who might conduct a background check.

When you are facing an underage OVI, you need a defense. USAttorneys recommends you set up a consultation with a lawyer as soon as you can and get an expert’s opinion about your case. We can connect you with an OVI lawyer in Cuyahoga County who can listen to the details in your case and steer your defense in the best direction.

An OVI lawyer in Cuyahoga County can help an underage driver avoid a conviction or get a lenient sentence.