In Tennessee, if you are under the age of 21 and are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). However, if you are under 21 and arrested with a BAC of at least .02% but less than .08%, the penalties might be less severe. It is important to understand the potential consequences of an underage DUI and to seek the help of an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Herbert & Lux understands the gravity of a DUI charge for minors and will provide the best legal representation available. We understand the seriousness of the charges and are committed to helping you and your family through the process.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for underage drinking and driving, contact our firm today to begin with a free consultation: (615) 878-5537
Legal Consequences of an Underage DUI
Typically, anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 who is arrested for DUI will face the same charges as a standard DUI. Conviction carries a penalty of 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days in jail, license suspension, fines of up to $1,500, and other fees and consequences.
Tennessee also has an underage DUI statute, in which underage drivers can be charged with a misdemeanor if their blood alcohol content is at least .02% but less than .08%. This statute carries less severe penalties, such as:
- Community Service
- Fine of $250
- License Suspension
However, remember that all criminal convictions go on a person’s record and can negatively impact his or her future when it comes to seeking employment, housing, etc. For minors and young people, a drinking and driving conviction might also negatively impact his or her eligibility for scholarships, college placement, etc.
Defenses for an Underage DUI Charge
If you are facing an underage DUI charge, it is important to understand the potential defenses that may be available to you. An experienced DUI attorney can help you determine which strategies may be best for your case and can ensure that your rights are protected.
At Herbert & Lux, our experienced legal team is familiar with Tennessee DUI laws and will make sure you understand the consequences of an underage DUI charge.
Some possible defenses include:
- The Officer Did Not Have Probable Cause: One potential defense to an underage DUI charge is that the officer did not have probable cause to pull you over. If the officer did not have reasonable suspicion, any evidence obtained from the stop may be inadmissible in court.
- The Results of the Breathalyzer Test Were Inaccurate: Breathalyzer tests can be unreliable, and there are a number of factors that can affect the accuracy of the results. For example, if the Breathalyzer was not calibrated correctly, if the officer did not follow proper protocol, or if the officer did not properly administer the test, then the results might be inaccurate.
- You Were Not Actually Driving the Vehicle: It is also possible to defend against an underage DUI charge by arguing that you were not actually driving the vehicle. If it can be proven that you were not the one behind the wheel, then the DUI charge may be dismissed.
- The Officer Did Not Follow Proper Protocol: It is possible to argue that the officer did not follow proper protocol when administering the Breathalyzer test. If the officer did not follow the proper procedure for administering the test, then the results may be considered inadmissible in court.
These are just a few potential defenses; an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tennessee can help you determine which strategies may be best for your case.
Seek Legal Representation
If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DUI, contact Herbert & Lux today. We understand the gravity of an underage DUI charge, and we are committed to providing the best legal representation available. Don’t let an underage DUI charge ruin your future — call now for a free consultation: (615) 878-5537