How DWI Penalties Affect Drivers Under 21

When young people get in trouble with the law, the consequences may have lasting effects. This is especially true when a person is caught driving while intoxicated (DWI) under the age of 21. Fines, jail time, probation, and license suspension are possible after a DWI conviction, all of which can put a damper on your future.

My name is Angela Arellanes. As a criminal defense attorney in Albuquerque, I have extensive experience with DWIs and associated penalties. My firm Angela Arellanes Law also has experience defending young people accused of serious crimes, which is crucial to achieve the best possible outcome.

Please contact my firm today for more information on the legal services I offer. You can also call 505.247.2417 to schedule a consultation so we can discuss the details of your case.

Is Underage DWI Treated Differently?

For drivers aged 21 and older, having blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher is grounds for arrest. However, the rules are slightly different for drivers under the age of 21. Lower BAC limits for underage drivers are intended to act as a deterrent. Accordingly, driving with a BAC of .02% or higher is enough to get you arrested. While there are other factors at play, BAC is heavily influenced by the number of drinks a person consumes. Research shows that the average person will have a BAC of .02% after only two drinks.

What Kind of Penalties Can a Person Face If Convicted?

If convicted of underage DWI, you could face up to 90 days in jail. You could also be subject to a maximum fine of $500. Your license will be revoked and once reinstated you’ll be obligated to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.

Community service, probation, drug and alcohol screenings, and substance abuse treatment are also possible. When combined, DWI penalties can impact your social life, get in the way of academic achievement, and even prevent you from securing gainful employment.

How Can a Defense Attorney Help?

With so much on the line, you need skilled legal support to help you navigate this tumultuous time in your life. In addition to my experience with DWI charges, I also have experience assisting young people faced with serious criminal charges.

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