Will my someone who is underage get a DUI even if they blow under a .08? 47 Answers as of June 24, 2011

My son recently got stopped for a light out and they gave him a DUI. He said he had a beer and blew a .07. But he is only 20. Is this a DUI or drinking under age?

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Alabama's max BAC for a minor is .02. Get him a lawyer; it could be handled as a Youthful Offender charge if he has a clean record. Also, if the officer consents and depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to get a deferred prosecution or good behavior disposition where the matter is dismissed after a period of informal probation. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/24/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
This is both a DUI and drinking under age. There is a 0 policy for under age drinking. Even a 0.001 for a under age person is a DUI.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/20/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
The legal limit for someone under the age of twenty-one years is .02. A person even over the age of twenty-one years can be convicted of a DUI even though they tested substantially below the .08 limit. DUI proof involves the testimony of the arresting officer who will testify at trial that in their opinion the arrested person was intoxicated to the point that they were unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/17/2011
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
In Illinois, there is a zero tolerance law in effect. This means that any minor can be convicted for underage drinking with any alcohol content in his blood. However, it sounds that your son was charged with a regular DUI. He can be treated as an adult for this offense, but there is a possibility that he will not be convicted of the offense because of his BAC under the legal limit of .08. The best advice is hire an attorney to represent him in court, to insure the best possible disposition in his matter.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/17/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
In Michigan, there is a separate offense for a person under 21 who drives a vehicle with over .02 in their system. So answer is yes. Also, any person in Michigan who may have under a .08 can be subject to a charge of OWI, (operating while intoxicated) if their ability to drive is substantially and materially affected due to the use of alcohol. They can be charged with OWI (operating while impaired) if they are under .08 and their ability to drive is impaired due to alcohol.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    Yes, the slang term for it is a "baby DUI" It will result in the suspension of his license.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    Yes. If you are under 21 you are not allowed to driver with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system. There is a "zero tolerance" policy. As such, if your son was driving with a .07% BAC then this will result in a a DUI. There are a number of different code sections that apply to underage DUIs as follows: Vehicle Code Section 23136 is a civil offense which occurs when your chemical test results in a BAC reading of .01% or greater; Vehicle Code Section 23140 is an infraction which occurs when the chemical test reading results in a BAC reading of .05-.07%; and Vehicle Code Section 23152 is a misdemeanor offense which applies to everyone regardless of your age. VC Section 23152(a) does not require a BAC to prove a DUI and VC Section 23152(b) occurs when the BAC is .08% or higher. In any case, you should be aware that a conviction for any of the above listed offense will result in a suspension of your son's driving privilege for 1 year. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    Your son will most likely be facing DUI charges. The legal limit of .08 BAC applies only to people of legal drinking age. The legal limit of intoxication for underage individuals is .02. The potential penalties for underage driving under the influence convictions in Louisiana are: -Fines of $100-$250 -Participation in a court ordered substance abuse program A DUI conviction can have negative consequences for your son in terms of job and school applications in the future. For this reason, you may want to consider hiring a DUI attorney to represent him and to attempt to keep his record clean. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    He can be charged if his BAC was over.04. Minors can be charged with over.02. Between .04 and .05 you are presumed to be Impaired, over .08 you are presumed to be intoxicated. He will likely go to trial and be convicted of Driving While Impaired, a violation or possibly be found not guilty if his field sobriety tests are good and his driving was not erratic.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    In the State of Washington, anyone under 21 can be convicted of DUI if he or she has a BAC of .04 or more. He or she may also be convicted of MIP. A conviction for either will result in your son's license status being revoked for anywhere from 90 days to his 21st birthday. He really needs to consult a criminal defense attorney in his county before making any decisions about his plea. He should also understand that it is illegal for him to drink. The reason we have laws prohibiting underage drinking is because people under 21 have not been driving for very long and have not attained an age of sufficient discernment, judgment or driving proficiency. Some kids are that mature but the law can only apply to everyone and the legislature had to draw the line at 21. The bottom line is while it is legal for an adult to have a beer and drive, drinking and carrying on any potentially dangerous activity is foolish and can be deadly. Whether it involves driving a 4000-pound projectile down the public road, flying a plane or handling a gun or knife, alcohol diminishes motor skills, reaction times, judgment and physical performance. Now is as good a time in any to remind our son of this.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    There is a Cal. Veh. Code Section that allows for prosecution of minors even if below .08. But the D.A. doesn't use it very often. With the help no a good lawyer the charge can probably be reduced and the 1 year license suspension avoided.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    You SAID he got a DUI. If so, then thats what he gets to defend against. DUI is Driving Under the Influence, impaired driving, not drunk, regardless of what and how much he had taken or what the BA level was. Youll learn the actual charge[s] filed against you when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. The DA can amend at any time prior to trial if he feels he can prove additional or different charges. Of course you can fight it. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Blood test results can be challenged if appropriate. Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Having a positive finding of alcohol to any degree when someone is underage compounds the complexity of the case. He needs to retain counsel ASAP in order to protect his driving privileges and prevent a permanent criminal history.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    An underage person who has been drinking but is not the legal limit or higher can be charged and convicted with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. At least in Texas, there is zero tolerance on consumption of alcohol by minors and drinking so if the minor had just 1 drink, or half a drink, they could be prosecuted and convicted of driving under the influence.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    A person may be charged with a "regular" DUI even if their BAC is under 0.08. This applies to those over the age of 21 and in your son's case, if they are under the 21. However, if the prosecutor does charge someone with a DUI where the BAC is under 0.08 they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant (your son) was "affected by alcohol by an appreciable degree," in other words that your son was impaired by alcohol. This is harder to do that simply proving the BAC was over 0.080. Your son must get an attorney! If you have any questions regarding this issues or others, or wish to discuss how to avoid a DUI conviction please contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    It's both. Since he is an underage drinker, there is usually a zero tolerance program in place that will go after him strenuously. If he is convicted, he will likely lose his ability to drive until he is 21 in most states. Hire a good lawyer for him and perhaps there is a good defense available to him. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Yes, someone under 21 can get a regular DWAI (the lesser drunk driving charge in Colorado)if his alcohol level is under .08 but over .05, and a 'possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor' - he can get both.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    This could be charged under both statutes, DUI and possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
    In Texas, a DUI is a person who was driving under 21 with a detectable amount of alcohol on the persons breath. If the person was a .08 or greater and/or loss the normal use of their mental or physical faculties by the introduction of alcohol, then the charge would be a DWI.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    I work in Oregon where a person is DUII if he or she either has a blood alcohol content of greater than .08 or if he or she is "impaired to a noticeable and perceptible degree." However, a minor can be arrested for DUII and have his license suspended for any amount of alcohol in his system. The thing is, though, that the state must still prove that he is impaired by the alcohol. I've seen minors that have blown a .04 or .05 charged with DUII but not often convicted. On the other hand, I've seen minors and adults charged with DUII who've blown .07 and been convicted. When you get down to it, there's not much difference between a .07 and a .08 (or .09) and many people are impaired at .07 or .06. Also, at least in Oregon, the breath test is done at the police station after the arrest and this can be 1 to 2 hours after the person was pulled over, which can often lead to a lower BAC depending on when the person had his last drink.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    The legal limit for someone under 21 is zero. So he can get a minor DUI even if he blew under .08.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    A person under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI for blowing above .02%. Yes, you son can be charged with a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    This is serious. He needs the help of an attorney. He can lose his driving privileges for one year- along with other penalties. Call me with any questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    The situation you described is both. Most states have a zero tolerance dui law for minors
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. He can be charged in New York State for DUI. You will have to consult an attorney in your State for more specifics. It is also underage drinking for which he could face separate penalties before the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. But, he can't face both.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    In Georgia, the limit is .02 for an under 21 driver, so your son would have been charged with DUI per se. There might still be defenses if you hire a good DUI lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Since your son is under 21, he is subject to the no tolerance law which makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 or greater. He could also be charged with minor in possession of alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    This can be a sufficient breath estimate to support a charge known as "zero tolerance." In Michigan, .02 to .08 is defined as zero tolerance or "baby DUI." The short term penalties are significantly less but on the other hand, it is still a lifetime conviction in Michigan.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    The laws for DUI for an adult age 21 and over are different than under 21. Anyone under age 21 who has a BAC over .02 can be charged with a DUI. Drinking under age can be charged as minor in possession of alcohol or drugs. Since .07 is a relatively low BAC you may have a good chance of getting the DUI reduced to a lesser charge.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Lowenstein Law Office
    Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
    Minors charged with driving with any alcohol in their blood can be DUI and lose their license for a year. For more information, please see my website.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Possibly both. There is a different standard of law for an underage drinker. You can lose your license for violating the zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving. You can also be charged with VC 23140 for having a BAC of .05 to .07%. Additionally, even if the BAC is under .08%, you can be convicted of DUI for VC 23152(a) based on field sobriety tests and observed driving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    He could be charged with both since minors are not allowed to buy, consume, or possess alcoholic beverages. Even an unopened alcoholic container in the vehicle could be enough for a charge. When under 21, if his blood alcohol content (BAC) is at 0.2 or above, he can be charged with a DUI as well as a Minor in Possession (MIP). Consult with and retain experienced criminal counsel right away. These are charges that could severely impact his life including fines, costs, possible jail, raised insurance premiums, driver's responsibility fees, driver's license points and suspension, and others. A good DUI attorney is worth the investment considering how much he can save you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    For someone under 21, any alcohol in the system makes it a DUII, and anyone who is impaired by alcohol or other controlled substances can't drive, regardless of their blood alcohol level.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The Law Office of Rosanne Faul
    The Law Office of Rosanne Faul | Rosanne Faul
    Unfortunately, this is may be charged as a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    You can be charged with a DUI even if you blew under .08 pursuant to vehicle code 23152(a). Additionally, there is a zero tolerance if a person is under 21 and driving. Also, see VC 23140. (a) It is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 years who has 0.05 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle. I regularly handle DUI's, and have successfully gotten many DUI charges reduced and dismissed. n more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    When you are under 20 you can be charged with a DUI or what is referred to a "baby DUI" He should contact an attorney and the DMV within 10 days of his arrest to attempt to preserve his license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Wise Law Group
    Wise Law Group | Michael J. Wise, Esq
    Yes, he is above the limit for his age in California. He should hire an attorney to minimize his criminal exposure and to challenge the DMV hearing, otherwise his license will likely be suspended for a year.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    It could be both. In California, an under age DUI has much harsher penalties than a 21+ DUI arrest. Most likely, your son is looking at DUI charges, possibly drunk in public or some variation. He should consult with an attorney as soon as possible in order to preserve any rights that may be lost due to lapse of time, with regard to his license and the DMV.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Any presence of alcohol in a person, who is under the age of 21, is a violation of the DUI statute, except for the presence of alcohol from a recognized religious ceremony and then it has to be below .02. So yes he can be charged with drinking and driving. Especially since he is not supposed to be drinking at all.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    There is a zero tolerance law for underage persons drinking and driving with any alcohol on their system. You son needs legal help and should consult with a local Atty ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Collins Law Firm, P.A.
    Collins Law Firm, P.A. | John C. Collins
    This answer only applies in Arkansas. Your son could certainly be charged with DUI in Arkansas if he registered .07 while operating a vehicle. However, I must say either the machine was wrong or the beer your son had was a very big and strong beer (not average size or alcohol content). Or of course your son is not being completely honest. Given my experience with the machines and with teenagers, I would say any of the above options is a possibility. A DUI is different than a dwi in Arkansas. Each has it's own standards. A DUI can be reduced while a dwi can't. The fines and court costs are lower on a DUI and the license suspension is shorter. That being said there are still pretty severe consequences. Especially insurance costs. Contact a dwi attorney to get a more complete assessment.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law | Tracy L. Henderson
    There is a zero tolerance policy for those underage. The standard BA for underage minors is lower.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    The legal limit for under 21 is 0.05 in court and 0.01 with the DMV. Contact a DUI specialist immediately, as the DMV portion requires timely action (or your son loses his license for 1 year by default).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
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