Facing a DUI charge is a circumstance fraught with significant challenges, regardless of the accused party’s age. The potential for jail time, heavy fines, license revocation, job loss and other serious consequences of conviction is very real, and the social stigma that often attaches can follow individuals for years. Underage drivers who are charged with DUI in Georgia have even tougher mountains to climb, considering the severe ramifications that follow should they ultimately be found guilty. Because there is so much at stake for under-21 drivers accused of DUI, it is vital that those young men and women secure an aggressive defense team that is ready and willing to protect their rights. Jill and Pittman Morris of Morris Law, P.C. are prepared to attack the prosecution’s case at every possible turn and fight for the most positive outcome attainable for each client served.
DUI Under 21 Years of Age
Broadly speaking, the legal drinking age in Georgia is 21, and as such, the law holds that anyone younger than that has no business drinking at all before operating a vehicle. While the standard threshold for DUI in Georgia for those 21 and over is blood alcohol content of .08 or over, section 40-6-391 (k)(1) of the Official Code of Georgia provides that the limit for underage drivers is just .02. The reason that there is any wiggle room at all is that law enforcement does make provisions for the possibility of alcohol showing up in the bloodstream due to mouthwash and other similar personal products. Teens and others under 21 years of age who are found to have driven with blood alcohol content in excess of .02 face extremely onerous sanctions in Georgia, including possible jail time, probationary supervision, fines, community service, alcohol education classes and strict license suspensions that can result in loss of driving privileges for up to a year.
Ancillary Consequences of Underage DUI Convictions
In addition to the well-known negative impact a DUI conviction will have on any driver, the consequences for younger motorists can be even more devastating. Individuals in this age category are often still in the process of determining their future educational and career paths, and a criminal record that includes a history of DUI can profoundly limit available options.
Colleges, professional schools, and prospective employers may reject candidates outright if they have been found guilty of drunk driving offenses, and given the ease with which a drink or two can show up in a breath or blood test, the danger is quite real.
Considering the long-term, highly detrimental effect a conviction of this type can have on a young driver’s ability to build a prosperous and productive life, the assistance of a seasoned DUI defense attorney is essential.
Defending Underage DUIs in Georgia
When it comes to underage DUIs in Georgia, there truly is no substitute for a vigorous legal defense that challenges the prosecution from a variety of angles, questions the legality of the initial traffic stop, exposes weaknesses in evidence collection and safeguards the defendant’s constitutional rights. At Morris Law, P.C. we pledge to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the facts of each case, working to have charges reduced or even dropped. If that proves impossible, however, we stand ready to put our trial advocacy skills to work in order to mitigate sanctions and achieve the most favorable result possible for those we are privileged to serve. To learn more about how we can help, contact us at (706) 250-1316.