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Underage DUI

Experienced Underage OWI/DUI Defense Lawyer Serves Clients in the Fort Wayne Area

Proven Indiana drunk driving defense attorney helps to protect young drivers

A strong argument could be made that underage drinking and driving offenses are treated harsher than the standard OWI/DUI in Indiana. That’s because our state has a lower blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for underage drivers: any driver under 21 who has .02 percent or higher BAC can be charged with OWI. The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey in Fort Wayne is ready to help you if you are under 21 and have been charged with OWI, or if you are a parent whose child has been arrested.

Understanding counsel clarifies administrative penalties

In an OWI/DUI situation involving an adult in Indiana, the driver could face a license suspension for having a BAC of .08 percent or more or refusing to take a chemical test. For drivers under 21, a BAC of .02 percent is high enough for the state to suspend a license. The suspension periods are 180 days if the BAC is .02 percent or higher or one year for refusing the breath test.  If the underage driver’s license is suspended for exceeding the BAC limit, the individual may be able to obtain limited driving privileges during the suspension period. If the suspension is due to test refusal, however, the underage driver is not eligible for any special driving privileges. Another administrative penalty is the required victim impact program (VIP). The driver must pay the cost of the program, then attend presentations by speakers whose lives have been affected by drunk driving.

Dedicated lawyer fights for lesser criminal and civil penalties for drivers under age 21

These are the possible punishments for drinking and driving when the driver is underage:

  • Class C infraction — In Indiana, infractions are not criminal offenses; they are civil matters. If a driver is under 21 and has a BAC of at least .02 percent but under .08 percent, the penalty is a $500 fine.
  • Class C misdemeanor — Underage OWI is a Class C misdemeanor if the BAC is at least .08 percent but under .15 percent. This is a criminal offense carrying a possible sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
  • Class A misdemeanor — Underage OWI is a Class A misdemeanor if the BAC is .15 percent or higher, or if the vehicle was being operated in a dangerous manner. This is a criminal offense carrying a possible sentence of up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

A DUI lawyer can help to prevent young people from being limited in their opportunities because they made a poor decision. Cases involving drivers under the age of 18

could be heard in juvenile court. This is a better scenario than facing an adult charge, because juvenile records don’t have as a strong an impact on a person’s future. Adult court means the young person is subject to all the typical OWI penalties, including possible jail time and heavy fines.

Consult an Indiana OWI lawyer in a free consultation

The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey in Fort Wayne, Indiana is ready to start working on your OWI case right away. Get a free initial consultation by calling 260-222-7364 or contact us online.

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  • Fort Wayne Office
    6135 Stoney Creek Drive
    Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825
    Phone: 260-437-0197
    Fax: 260-745-4703