Facing a DUI charge can be an intimidating prospect for underage drivers and their parents alike. If you or your child are in this situation, you may wonder about the consequences and defense options. This can be a stressful situation to navigate alone, so you should contact a seasoned DUI attorney for help.
A Manhattan underage DUI lawyer could provide you with the dedicated legal guidance and representation you need to get through this challenging time.
DUI Laws for Underage Drivers
If someone under 21 has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.02 and 0.08, which is below the legal limit but still indicates some alcohol in their system, they can be taken into custody and given a breath test. If they fail the breath test and their BAC is between 0.02 and 0.08, there will be an administrative hearing to decide whether they will lose their license.
In some cases, criminal charges may be filed, but these are usually dismissed because it is a civil violation, not a criminal one. However, if the individual’s BAC is above 0.08, it is considered a regular DUI, and their age does not matter.
What Factors Are Used to Determine Impairment in an Underage Driver?
The same factors used for drivers over 21 are used for underage drivers. These include field sobriety tests, such as walk and turn or stand, as well as breath tests or blood tests to measure an individual’s BAC.
Where Are Underage DUI Cases Heard in Manhattan?
Underage DUI cases can be heard in either the municipal court or the district court, both of which are located in Manhattan, Kansas. Since a DUI is a driving offense, it is not considered a juvenile case and is instead treated as a traffic offense.
Penalties for Underage DUI
For offenders under 18, time served may be required, but it would be served at a juvenile detention center instead of a county jail. The penalties for underage offenders are generally similar to those for adults, with the main difference being the type of detention facility where the sentence is served.
How Strongly Are These Cases Prosecuted in Manhattan?
Very strongly. DUIs are one of the number one charges our attorneys see around this area because of Kansas State University and the large population of college students.
Potential Defenses to an Underage DUI Charge
If an officer claims an underage driver failed the walk-and-turn or one-leg stance test, a diligent Manhattan DUI attorney could review the test and check whether the officer correctly counted the clues. For instance, there are eight clues on the walk-and-turn test, and the lawyer could verify whether they were measured accurately according to the standardized system. If an officer counted a missing heel and toe, but the person’s heel and toe were less than half an inch apart, then that should not be considered a clue. Similarly, if an officer counted stepping off the line, but the person’s entire foot did not come completely off the line, that should not be counted as a clue.
Thus, an experienced underage DUI lawyer in Manhattan could examine the clues and ensure they are graded with the standardized system.
Enlist the Help of a Manhattan Underage DUI Attorney
DUI cases involve many nuances and require a deep understanding of the law and the ability to identify important details. It is unlikely that someone without experience in DUI law would be able to navigate these complex cases effectively. So, do not risk handling your case alone. Instead, contact one of the well-practiced and knowledgeable attorneys at Addair Law.
A Manhattan underage DUI lawyer from our firm is best suited to evaluate your case and determine whether or not the state can prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.