In Minnesota, underage drinking is a very serious offense. As it stands, the legal drinking age is 21 and a person is considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is .08. If a person is under 21, it doesn’t matter if their BAC is .08 or .02, it is a crime. An underage drinker can be arrested just for having alcohol in their system and being behind the wheel of a car. The consequences may then consist of jail time, fines, and loss of license.
If you have been charged with underage drinking or you are the parent of a child who has been charged with the crime, it is important to seek the help of a St. Paul DWI lawyer as soon as possible so you can receive the best possible result in the case.
Aggressively Challenging The Charges
Most underage drinkers are first-time offenders. If this is your first offense, then the offense is charged and sentenced as a misdemeanor. This means the consequences are far from those of a felony. It can still have a fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. It also involves license revocation for six months and the individual may not receive a provisional license. This means finding alternative forms of transportation to work or school. To get your license back, you will need to be at least 18 years old, complete a driving instruction course, pass a written driver’s license example, and complete three months of motor vehicle operation while under the supervision of another licensed driver.
Those who are considered minors may be forced to face a different set of consequences. The judge will determine which forms of punishment and rehabilitation are best at that particular time.
Understanding Vanessa’s Law
Vanessa’s law is named in honor of a 15 year-old girl who was killed in a drunken driving accident in 2003. She was the passenger in the vehicle and just shy of turning 16. This is the law that targets juveniles that drink and drive by imposing very unique penalties on them. These penalties include being unable to acquire a learner’s permit until 18 years of age. If the teen was in a crash, then the minor must complete classroom driver’s education and hold a learner’s permit for three months. In order to reinstate the license, the fee is $680. The written exam must also be retaken. Basically, the entire process of obtaining a license has to be repeated again with the difference being the fines and high fees. Your Minneapolis DWI attorney can help you understand this process and guide you through it if the charges are not initially dismissed or you are not acquitted in the matter.
Contact A Minneapolis Underage Drinking Lawyer
If you are the parent of a child who has been accused of underage drinking, you want to give your child the best chance possible. This can be done by hiring an attorney who knows the law as it relates to underage DWI and the juvenile court system, if the driver is a minor. Juveniles have to deal with a separate set of consequences than those over the age of 18 that have the goal of keeping them from coming offenders as adults. However, there are also times when a young person accused of underage drinking did not commit the offense or their rights were violated in some way. To learn more about how the Law Office of Mark Herman can help you, call 612-382-4545 for a free consultation.