Although underage drinking is not strictly illegal in Ohio – it is permitted for someone under the age of 21 to have an alcoholic beverage for medical or religious purposes, or under supervision of their parent or legal guardian – it is always considered illegal for someone under the age of 21 to drink and drink, no matter how little alcohol they have imbibed. Ohio State legislation usually considers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or above to be intoxicated; driving with this amount or more will trigger a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest. For minors, driving with a BAC between 0.02% and 0.08% constitutes a UDD, or underage drinking and driving.
Penalties for UDD convictions may include:
A minor is not exempt from serious charges based solely on their age. Ohio State law enforcement can charge a driver under the age of 21 with an OVI (operating a vehicle impaired) if their BAC level is found to exceed 0.08%. Depending on the age of the offender and the circumstances of their arrest, they could be tried in adult court or juvenile court, but the penalties will remain the same or similar.
An OVI conviction for a minor may carry punishments as harsh as:
Have you or your teenager been charged with an underage DUI? Our Oxford DUI attorneys at Haughey & Niehaus LLC can help you. Contact us today!
It is somewhat uncommon for law enforcement officers in Ohio to charge a minor with only underage DUI. By your apparent intoxication alone, they may be able to jump to other conclusions and tack on additional charges at the time of your arrest. You could be charged with minor in possession, moving vehicle violations, alcohol solicitation, distributing alcohol to minors, and other related violations, depending on what evidence they can find to use against you. Each charge will carry its own set of consequences upon conviction.
One of the worst consequences of being convicted for underage drinking and driving comes in the form of increased insurance premiums. The hikes can be greater than $200 a month for such behavior and are unlikely to decrease until at least 5 years have passed. To avoid losing so much money at such a young age, you will need to shut down the prosecution’s claims and have your charges entirely dismissed. This will be the goal of our Mason DUI attorneys, and we will work closely with you to ensure we do all we can to get there.
Send us an email today and we can figure out when we can meet up with you for a consultation.