In the state of North Carolina, drinking underage and driving is absolutely not tolerated under the law. This can be difficult for young drivers who are new to the road and who might be more susceptible to temptations, such as consuming alcohol and drugs. Mixing the two, however, is not uncommon for minors, even if the quantity is very small.
When young people face DUI charges, it does not mean that it has to be the end of the road for them. Although facing such charges can seem to be threatening to the minor’s future prospects of job and education opportunities, a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer can help defend them at all costs and work towards getting charges or sentencing reduced or even dropped.
North Carolina has strict DUI laws, meaning that the associated consequences can be high and include fines, jail time, and license suspension. In North Carolina, it is against the law to drive after doing the following:
When it comes to BAC limits, the legal amount allowable depends on the driver’s age and the type of vehicle that they are operating. If the driver is over the age of 21, then the amount is 0.08. If the driver is operating a commercial vehicle, then the amount is 0.04.
Since North Carolina is a zero-tolerance state for underage drinking, any BAC amount above 0.00 blown by a person under the age of 21 is considered to be a DUI. This means that even if the 21-year-old shared a beer with one of their parents and was not inebriated while driving, they can still be charged with a DUI.
If a minor is charged with a DUI in North Carolina, this is characterized as a class 2 misdemeanor. Associated penalties include having your driver’s license suspended, paying large fines, spending time in jail, and having to complete community service. If the underaged DUI case is particularly serious, then the minor can even be tried and sentenced as if they were an adult.
After a person is convicted of driving drunk under the age of 21, they automatically will have their driver’s license taken away for one year. There is, however, the possibility of getting a limited driving privilege option. Jail time can be up to 2 months, and fines can be a maximum of $1,000.
In Asheville, court fees and fines can add up if a minor is convicted of a DUI. Associated costs with the case can include having to pay for rehabilitation or education courses for drugs and alcohol, court fees, and increased insurance premiums on the vehicle they are driving. An experienced Asheville Under 21 DUI lawyer can help advise you on what the expected costs and penalties might be with your case and how to mitigate them.
A: In the state of North Carolina, drunk driving cases are characterized by six different punishment levels, ranging from an aggravated level one DUI to a level 5 DUI. A level 5 DUI is the least serious of all of the charges and has the lowest penalties associated with it. The North Carolina General Statutes lays out the sentencing structure for DUI charges and convictions in the state.
A: If you have been convicted for a first-time DUI in North Carolina, it is not mandatory that you have to be sentenced to time in jail. However, if you have outstanding circumstances that aggravate your case, such as having a minor or disabled person in the car while drunk driving, then the courts may decide to sentence a person to jail for a maximum time of a few months.
A: In the state of North Carolina, if you have been convicted for a first-time DUI offense, then there is mandatory revocation of your license for one year. However, if you have certain circumstances, then you may be able to have limited driving privileges. It’s important to speak with a North Carolina DUI defense lawyer to better understand what your options are.
A: In a North Carolina DUI case, there are certain aspects of a case that must be proved in order to convict someone on charges. This means that there must be hard evidence that they were the individual operating the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop and arrest. The courts must also be able to show that the person was impaired by a substance using evidence such as breathalyzer test results.
Being charged with underage drinking and driving can be stressful and frustrating. Young people under the age of 21 are working towards building the foundations for their lives, such as starting careers or going to university, and a DUI charge can be extremely disappointing. However, it’s important to know that there are strategies that can be employed to protect the future and well-being of young people who have been charged with drinking and driving.
Our DUI attorneys at Edwards Law, PLLC are loyal and aggressive and know the local court system and laws in the Asheville area. We will work hand in hand with you to make sure that concerns are addressed and that you are not left with any uncertainty about the status or implications of your or your loved ones’ case. Give us a call today so that we can start working on a plan forward together.