Under 18 and charged with a DUI, what are the consequences?

Underage drinking is a problem not only in West Virginia but across the country. To help deter teens from taking part in this activity, the consequences for underage drinking can be quite severe. So, what are the penalties a person under 18 and charged with DUI may face if convicted?

Getting a driver's license as a teen can feel like the first step to gaining independence. Those who are under the age of 18 and charged with DUI offenses, however, will typically lose their licenses. Those convicted of underage drinking will have their licenses revoked until they turn 18 or until they have met the required revocation period. Licenses will not be reinstated until after the revocation period has ended and the accused has completed the state required safety and treatment programs.

Along with losing one's license, a young DUI offender may face jail time and/or have to pay significant fines. The severity of the circumstances surrounding one's DUI arrest, as well as any past criminal history of such behavior, will be used by prosecuting attorneys in order to achieve the harshest sentence possible. There are several defense tactics that may be utilized, though, that may prove beneficial to the accused in court.

Those in West Virginia who are underage and charged with DUI have a lot to lose. This type of offense on one's record can have a fairly significant impact on one's future. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, a teen who is accused of this type of activity can fight any accusations of driving under the influence. Doing so may achieve a dismissal of charges or a reduction in charges and penalties.

Source: transportation.wv.gov, "Caught Driving Over the Limit...then you're under arrest", Accessed on Sept. 10, 2015

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