Summer is the ideal time for a teenager – no school, plenty of time to sleep in or hang with friends, freedom from the usual responsibilities. However, when teens get bored and restless, they can easily turn to alcohol as a way to pass the time with their peers. Add a few special occasions such as a graduation, holiday, or birthday, the potential for alcohol consumption rises substantially.
A person arrested for an underage DUI charge could face the consequences of two offenses – a DUI charge and an underage drinking charge call minor in possession or MIP. In New Hampshire, getting a DUI under 21 can result in severe punishment and damage that can last for years, affecting possible college and career choices.
The DUI laws in New Hampshire states, someone under 21 charged with the offense can have a license suspension up to a year. In addition, the minor may have an ignition interlock device installed in a vehicle. Also, an underage DUI offender may have to enter an alcohol abuse education program.
Other Penalties Stemming from a DUI Under 21
Some other potential charges of drinking while driving underage include:
- Moving violation
- Soliciting alcohol from an adult
- Minor in possession of alcohol (MIP)
- If others in the car were intoxicated, a possible charge of distributing alcohol to other minors
- Potential violation of child endangerment laws
These charges often results in thousands of dollars' worth in fines and time spent in community service.
Cracking Down on Underage DUI
Authorities in New Hampshire are cracking down on underage drinking, focusing specifically on underage DUI charges as the statistics for minors getting behind the wheel while intoxicated are staggering.
According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 20. In 2006, more than 7,500 young people died in this manner, and 28 percent of them had been consuming alcohol. Another survey conducted by the NHTSA showed that 28.5 percent of high school students said they were in a car at least once when the driver was intoxicated.
This focus on underage DUI is not just fueled by fatality statistics, but financial considerations as well. According to state officials, underage drinking costs New Hampshire more than $200 million a year in property damage and medical treatment stemming from crashes.
Call an Attorney as Soon as You Can
The ramifications of a DUI under 21 conviction can last for years, making it difficult for a minor to get to school, work or other daily obligations. The last thing a minor needs is a criminal conviction on a record when starting out in life.
It is imperative that you contact a lawyer who has experience in litigating DWI cases to make sure all police procedures were followed correctly including sobriety testing such as a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test.
New Hampshire DUI attorney Ryan Russman is board certified and will help underage drinkers protect their rights. He understands the complexities of New Hampshire DUI law and will work to get your charges reduced or even dropped. Fill out our free consultation form today or call (603) 373-1664 to schedule a meeting today to learn about how you can get your underage drinking charges resolved.