Underage DWI

Underage DWI in St. Louis

When accused for drinking and driving in the state of Missouri, a first time offense can leave you with penalties of up to six months in jail, a license suspension of for a month and further restrictions for 60 days, the possible installation of an ignition interlock device, a fine of as much as $500 and a license reinstatement fee of $45. These penalties will be increased for those who are found drinking and driving underage. Contact a St. Louis criminal defense attorney if you or your child is in this position and need the defense of a skilled lawyer to avoid conviction.

Zero Tolerance Laws

The legal drinking age in Missouri is 21 and for drivers who are this age or older, it is illegal to be found driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 percent. Those who are found with this in their system can deal with a DWI, but those under the age of 21 can deal with harsh penalties even for a BAC level of .02. This is the Zero Tolerance stand that is taken in the state. This is a policy that has been taken by many around the country. The level is set at .02 to consider certain instances where small amounts of alcohol might be present in the system of the individual, such as for religious reasons.

While there is a small amount of room for reason, many underage individual deal with charges when they have done nothing wrong. For an underage drinking that is caught with a BAC between .02 and 08, they can expect to lose their right to drive, amongst other potential penalties. If a minor is charged for a DWI they can expect similar penalties to what those 21 and over might face, along with possible other charges such as minor in possession or possession of a fake identification card. If a second offense is made before they reach the age of 21, the penalties will increase.

Effects of a Conviction

In addition to the legal consequences, other ramifications can be faced as well. An underage individual may be denied entrance to their college of choice, they can lose scholarships, they can have difficulty finding a job, they can be suspended from school or be ineligible for sports. Problems can also be faced with insurance companies that don't want to take the risk. A conviction is damaging for anyone, but it can be particularly harmful for those who are just starting out and already have a mark against them. Start fighting charges by getting in touch with the firm immediately for a free consultation.

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