Although the legal drinking age in the United States is 21, a large number of drunk driving-related accidents are caused by or involve teenagers. 17% of all deadly crashes involving alcohol were caused by a driver under the age of 21, despite the fact that only 10% of all licensed drivers in this country are of that age. Maryland law is especially tough on teenagers who drink and drive. Learn more about DUIs and teenagers from your criminal defense lawyer.
DUIs and Teenagers: What Parents Should Know
The statistics associated with teenage drunk driving are sobering: 1/3 of all drivers killed in alcohol-related crashes were under the age of 24. Because of the severity of the situation, Maryland laws are especially tough on underage drunk driving. While the legal blood alcohol limit for adults over 21 is .08, for those under 21 it is .02. Sadly, in fatal cases of accidents caused by teenage drunk driving, the average blood alcohol content is .40 due to the prevalence of binge drinking in this age group and a misunderstanding of what it takes to sober up. The average body will be able to metabolize one drink per hour so the only way to truly sober up is by taking time. Educating teenagers on safe drinking habits can go a long way in preventing tragic car accidents. Fatal crashes are even more likely in cases where multiple teenagers are in the car together.
When a teen is caught drunk driving, penalties are swift and severe. Even for a first offense a teenager can face 2 months of jail time, $1000 in fines, and license suspension for 6 months. A second conviction can lead to up to a year in jail, one year license suspension, and $2000 in fines. In addition to the DUI charge, additional charges can be added to increase the punishment, including underage possession of alcohol, false identification possession, and child endangerment. Furthermore, it can have a substantially negative effect on car insurance rates with premiums going up by as much as $200 per month. Many companies will refuse to insure a teenager who has DUIs on their record. Be sure to educate your children on the importance of safe drinking and driving to prevent tragic, lifelong consequences. If your teenager has been involved in a drunk driving incident and is facing DUI charges, working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate a difficult situation.
Bruce Robinson & Associates
Bruce Robinson & Associates is a criminal defense law firm based in Baltimore, MD. If you have been accused of criminal actions and need to seek aggressive counsel, Robinson & Associates is here to help. For more information and to schedule your free consultation, give Robinson & Associates a call at 443-524-7395 or visit us at www.marylandcriminallawyer.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.