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Stopping drivers from operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol has been a law enforcement priority for decades. The law imposes substantial penalties on people who drink and drive. The consequences are extremely harsh when the driver is under the legal drinking age of 21. An underaged driver does not have to be impaired or test above the legal limit to face charges.
Young people accused of driving under the influence need an aggressive attorney fighting for them. Call a Glendale underage DUI lawyer from the moment you are arrested. At Grand Canyon Law Group, we will immediately begin constructing the most robust defense possible under the circumstances.
Arizona Revised Statute §4-244(34) makes it illegal for someone under 21 to have control of a vehicle if they have alcohol in their body. An officer does not need evidence that an underaged driver is impaired or has a BAC above the legal limit. Any amount of alcohol in an underaged driver’s blood is sufficient to trigger an arrest under the statute.
Underage DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor if the alleged offender has a measurable quantity of alcohol in their blood. However, the alleged offender may also face a DUI charge if their BAC is over the limit. If the driver is under the influence of any controlled substance, the prosecutor might bring a drugged driving charge under Arizona Revised Statute §28-1381(A)(3).
Any conviction on a DUI charge is a criminal conviction. Our Glendale attorneys can vigorously defend an underage driver to contest the DUI charges and prevent a criminal record.
The judge could order an underage offender up to 180 days in jail upon conviction. However, a skilled Glendale underage DUI lawyer could argue for probation or a suspended sentence rather than jail time. Fines for a conviction could reach $2500, plus surcharges.
Additionally, a driver convicted of underage DUI faces a two-year mandatory license suspension. Upon request, judges often instruct the Motor Vehicles Division to issue a restricted license that allows an offender to drive to and from work, school, and some appointments. A driver with a restricted license must have an ignition interlock device installed on their car.
To prevent these penalties, underage drivers should work with nearby legal counsel on an airtight defense to the charges.
Everyone has civil rights that the police must respect when investigating a suspected crime. Prosecutors must meet a high standard of proof for any criminal charge, and police must be able to defend their evidence. A DUI defense often involves police failing to observe a suspect’s rights, shoddy evidence collection, or mishandling evidence.
Police must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to justify stopping a vehicle. If the officers cannot articulate why they pulled a driver over, or the dashcam evidence refutes their story, our Glendale attorneys could use this to contest the underage DUI charge.
Other effective defenses relate to how the officers conducted sobriety tests and how they handled and tested any blood samples they collected. Our legal team could raise any health issues or other circumstances that could have impacted the accuracy of the tests.
If the police arrest you or your child for underage DUI, contact an experienced defense attorney immediately. A seasoned lawyer can often resolve the charges without creating a criminal record.
A Glendale DUI lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group will investigate the circumstances of the arrest and present a compelling defense to protect your future. Call our firm today to get started.