Protecting the Future of Minors in Jacksonville, Little Rock, and Throughout Pulaski County
While drinking is illegal for young adults under the age of 21, the truth is many do still start drinking before the legal limit. The problem occurs when these young minds get behind the wheel and drive while drinking. If you are a minor or the parent of one arrested for drinking and driving in Pulaski County, we understand your fear and uncertainty and will provide you with the compassionate yet aggressive defense you need to fight the charges. The underage DUI attorneys at Jacob Denson have defended numerous minors accused of underage drinking and driving and possess the skills and experience to pursue the best possible outcome.
Charges & Penalties for Underage Drinking & Driving in Arkansas
While normally, drivers over 21 can be arrested or charged with a DUI or DWI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or 0.08 percent or higher, for drivers under the age of 21, Arkansas has a zero-tolerance policy.
The law states that underage drivers have a limit of 0.02 BAC to be arrested and charged with a DUI, which can be reached with only one drink. In some cases, you can be arrested even if you are not intoxicated or impaired but merely because you have a trace amount of alcohol in your system.
An underage DUI is charged as an unclassified misdemeanor carrying the following penalties:
- First offense
- 90-day license suspension, $100 to 500 fine, and an alcohol and driver’s education course
- Second offense
- One-year license suspension, $200 to $1,000 fine, 30 days of public service, and an alcohol and drivers’ education course
- Third and additional offenses
- Drivers license revocation, $500 to 2,000 fine, 60 days of public service, and an alcohol and drivers’ education course
Additionally, the court can require convicted minors to attend a victim impact panel. This is a panel presentation consisting of victims and families of victims of drunk driving incidents. There is also a chance you could lose your insurance, have to pay higher insurance premiums, and have your permanent record stained with a DUI forever. This could impact your future by making it difficult for you to be admitted into colleges and universities, find gainful employment, and other privileges you’d otherwise have.
How Our Underage DUI Defense Attorneys Will Defend You
While zero-tolerance laws may seemingly put you at a disadvantage, it’s important to note that you do still have rights as a juvenile. It is not uncommon for a law enforcement officer to pull over young drivers and their passengers without reasonable suspicion, and then start investigating to see if there is any violation.
At Jacob Denson, our savvy and knowledgeable lawyers will explore every angle possible to build a strong defense for our clients and secure a favorable outcome.
Some of the strategies we may employ include:
- Challenging the arrest: Police officers are trained to only pull over drivers if they have reasonable suspicion. If they fail to prove this, we can challenge that the traffic stop was unlawful and invalid.
- Reviewing bodycam footage: Officers are required to wear body cams which can be forced to produce the video evidence of the arrest for the court to review. If the footage shows no apparent signs of intoxication, we can claim the officer’s arrest was unnecessary.
- Reviewing dashcam video: Much like the bodycam footage, we can also review video footage from the police officer’s dashcam. This can provide an additional perspective of the incident that may help your case.
- Challenging BAC test: Officers are required to administer a breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test to those they suspect of being drunk. If they do not perform the procedure properly, or if you passed a field sobriety test and they forced you to take a BAC test, it can be used against them.
Let Us Represent You & Protect Your Future
Because of the serious implications, an underage DUI conviction can have, it is crucial to seek experienced and competent legal counsel. We at Jacob Denson understand DUI laws and the juvenile court system. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work to serve you in court and give you your best chance of clearing your name and preserving your future.
Book a free consultation with a North Little Rock DUI Attorney by dialing (501) 273-1748. We are available 24/7 to discuss your case and schedule a same-day appointment.