What Can I Do About a Teenage Drunk Driving Charge in Boise, Idaho?

In order to help curb underage impaired driving, the state of Idaho along with all other states in the country have so-called “zero tolerance” laws which apply to drivers who are younger than 21 – in particular to help deter teenage drunk driving and reduce the frequency of teen drunk driving charges.  These underage drunk driving charges can lead not only to stiff legal consequences, but it also can seriously affect a teenager’s future in education and a career.

Statistics about Teenage Drunk Driving in Boise, Idaho

Here are some recent statistics regarding teenage drunk driving:

  • On average, eight teens every day are killed due to teenage drunk driving.
  • 40% of fatal drunk driving accidents involve teen drivers.
  • More than half of all teen deaths due to car accidents involve alcohol.
  • A teenage male with a BAC of just 0.05 is 18 times more likely to be in a crash than those who didn’t drink.  For teen girls, this likelihood is far higher, with girls being 54 times more likely to be in an accident with a BAC of 0.05.

Facts about Teens and Alcohol

The use, and abuse, of alcohol among teens is a very serious subject.  On average, boys first taste alcohol at age 11 – girls at 13. Over half of high school seniors say they have been drunk at least once in their life, and every day more than 11,000 teens nationwide (on average) take their first drink.  Even more troubling, three million teenagers in the United States are alcoholics. The heaviest drinkers in America are aged from teens to mid-twenties. After this period, alcohol use tends to decline. Tragically, teens who start drinking before 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics as adults.

DUI Laws And Teenage Drunk Driving Charges in Idaho

There are a number of different types of DUI offenses, depending upon the circumstances of the incident and the age (and level of intoxication) of the offender.  In the state of Idaho, any driver – regardless of age – can be charged with a standard DUI if found to be driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. This drunk driving charge is typically a misdemeanor criminal charge.

Drivers under the age of 21, including teen drivers, are subject to Idaho’s zero-tolerance laws, which make it unlawful for teens to drive even with a small amount of alcohol in their system. In the state of Idaho, the legal limit for drivers under 21 is 0.02.

Penalties for Teenage Drunk Driving Charges in Boise, Idaho

The penalties for teenage drunk driving in Idaho vary depending upon the facts of the case, but any underage DUI will lead to suspension of the offender’s license.  In many cases, a teen drunk driving charge will come with penalties which could include fines from hundreds up to thousands of dollars, up to a year of jail time, community service, substance abuse treatment programs, and potentially installing an ignition interlock device which makes it impossible to start the car without passing a breathalyzer test.

As a teen, the penalties faced for a zero-tolerance underage DUI offense is typically less severe than for a standard DUI, but merely being underage will not protect you from being charged and convicted of a standard DUI with even stricter penalties.  

The Impact of a Teenage Drunk Driving Charge on Your Future

Many college applications and many scholarship applications specifically ask if you have been convicted of a crime – a DUI which is a misdemeanor is considered a crime, but administrative offenses and infractions are not.  If you have a teenage DUI on your record, it is worthwhile to check to determine for sure whether it is considered a crime. Have a DUI charge won’t automatically disqualify you from a scholarship or university admission – but it is considered, among other factors.

If you or a family member has been arrested and charged with underage DUI, all is not lost.  There are many factors to be considered, and it is imperative that you speak to an attorney with experience in teen DUI cases as soon as you are able.  Here at the Boise DUI Guy, we specialize in drunk driving charges of all kinds, including teenage drunk driving charges. A DUI on your record as a teen doesn’t have to mean the end of your future – and working with a DUI lawyer can help ensure that your penalties and the long-term consequences are as minimal as possible.  Everyone makes mistakes – particularly teenagers. We understand that those mistakes don’t make you a bad or irresponsible person – just a teen who needs help.

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