Photo of Drew Wood

Teenage drunk driving offenses come with lasting consequences

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Juvenile Crimes |

High schoolers and even those who have recently graduated are notorious for making bad decisions. Teenagers may be intellectually bright in many cases, but they still lack the decision-making abilities of an adult. It is not until the mid-20s that the average individual can make truly rational decisions after considering the future consequences of their actions.

Until the frontal lobe finishes developing, young adults tend to make poor choices on impulse. Those choices might include drinking at a party despite not being old enough to consume alcohol and then driving home afterward because they worry about getting caught.

While the teenagers making these choices often assume that they won’t face any consequences or they will be able to talk themselves talk their way out of any penalties they might face, the truth is that underage impaired driving offenses are life-altering mistakes for many young adults in Florida.

The penalties in Criminal Court can be major

Obviously, getting arrested for drunk driving while still underage will affect a young adult’s licensing privileges. More importantly, they may face jail time with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just 0.02%, which is a quarter of the limit for adults over the age of 21.

The penalties are largely the same, including up to $1,00- in fines, a year without a license and six months in state custody. Participating in the juvenile justice system can be a wake-up call for some young adults, but it can also have a major impact on their future opportunities.

Youthful offenses can cause lifelong hardship

Depending on the age of the young adult at the time of their arrest, they could have a criminal record that affects their opportunities for many years to come. From college admissions committees to future employers, many parties considering a young adult for an opportunity will go with a different candidate when they discover a criminal record.

Additionally, the trauma and social stigma that come from involvement in the criminal justice system, especially incarceration, can forever change the trajectory of a young adult’s life. It is normal to have an angry reaction to a child’s arrest, but it was also crucial that you help them learn from their mistake instead of letting it define them for the rest of their life.

Helping a young adult defend themselves against underage DUI charges may lead to a brighter future where they won’t make the same mistake again.