It is against the law to operate a vehicle on a public road or street while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, the law is even harsher on underage defendants. Any incident involving a violation of the state’s drunk driving laws where a defendant is under the age of 21 will still bring DUI charges under the state’s core DUI laws. Additionally, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to be in control of a vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol.
If you or your child are accused of intoxicated driving, call a Phoenix underage DUI lawyer right away. The relentless attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group work to explain the state’s DUI laws for underage drinking and develop defenses to protect your future.
According to Arizona Revised Statute § 4-244(34), it is unlawful for any person under 21 to consume any alcoholic beverage and drive or be in control of a vehicle. A person under 21 could be charged with a crime for driving with any level of alcohol in their system. These cases are misdemeanors under the law. Convictions can bring up to 180 days in jail, fines of at least $500, and a two-year driver’s license suspension.
People under 21 may also face charges under the state’s core DUI statute. Under AZ Rev. Stat. § 28-1381, no person, regardless of age, may drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more. This means that people under 21 may face both alcohol violations and DUI charges.
An underage DUI attorney at our Phoenix office could help fight back against these allegations. Our legal team could argue that a driver was over the age of 21 at the time of the stop, that there was no reasonable cause for a police officer to make a stop, or that there was insufficient evidence that the defendant consumed alcohol.
State law regulates the consumption of alcohol by people under the age of 21. This includes a prohibition on driving with any amount of alcohol in one’s system. Although many DUI defenses focus on disputing whether a driver was impaired within the framework of the law, this approach will not work for minor defendants.
One option is to contest the police officer’s reasoning for making a traffic stop. Because most DUI arrests occur only after a search resulting from a traffic stop, an underage DUI lawyer can question whether the stop was appropriate. If a judge believes the stop was inappropriate, that judge must exclude all evidence resulting from that stop.
It may also be possible to challenge the results of scientific tests. Breathalyzers are notoriously imprecise under the best of circumstances, and our Phoenix underage DUI lawyers could question whether an arresting officer properly calibrated the machine or administered a test correctly. An attorney at our firm can tailor a defense to the circumstances of the underage DUI charges.
Drivers under the age of 21 can face severe penalties if a police officer believes they have consumed any amount of alcohol. In addition to the standard DUI charges that may apply for a blood/alcohol content of .08 percent or more, separate laws make it a crime for a person under 21 to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. A person under the age of 15 could face aggravated DUI charges.
A Phoenix underage DUI lawyer at our firm works tirelessly to defeat these allegations. Our experienced attorneys can mount various defense strategies related to the defendant’s age at the time of arrest, the supposed evidence of intoxication, and any constitutional issues during the traffic stop. Reach out to Grand Canyon Law Group today for the relentless representation you need.