While the minimum legal drinking age in Arizona is 21, instances of underage DUIs still occur. If you are under 21 and have been charged with driving under the influence, or if someone you love is in that position, you probably have some questions about what that means.
Here are three things you need to know about underage DUIs:
1. Arizona has a "zero tolerance" law when it comes to underage driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even if you are not acting erratically or showing signs of being intoxicated, you can still be charged with DUI if you have even a trace amount of alcohol in your system. For most people, even one drink will raise blood alcohol content enough to be detected.
2. If you are convicted of driving while impaired at any age, you may lose your driving privileges for up to two years in addition to hefty fines, court costs and a misdemeanor charge on your record, for life.
3. The consequences of underage DUI can go far beyond just losing your driving privileges and paying fines. If you are a student convicted of DUI, be aware that you may face sanctions from your school.
If you or someone you love has been charged with DUI in Arizona, getting an experienced criminal defense attorney involved right away is one of the smartest decisions you can make. We know that you know you made a mistake; your lawyer will not come down hard on you or treat you poorly because of a lapse of judgment. Instead, your lawyer will help you understand the charges against you and can help you navigate the court system more easily and with more confidence. Underage DUI charges are serious, but your attorney will work hard to protect your interests so that you can move on with your life.
Sources: http://www.azdps.gov/Information/Impaired_Driving/DUI_Laws/, http://www.azdps.gov/Information/Impaired_Driving/Drinks_Defined/