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