According to the law known as A.R.S. §4-244 (34) Underage Drinking and Driving in AZ , it is illegal for anyone who is under the age of 21 to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle while there is any type of liquor in their body.
It doesn’t matter if the person is impaired by the alcohol, or not. This means, you could be completely sober and capable of driving, but still receive a violation if you have alcohol on your breath and are under the age of 21.
Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving
In the state of Arizona, an underage DUI is also referred to as a Baby DUI. While the charges alone don’t require time in jail, this is typically on the case for first time offenders.
However, an individual facing these charges may still be sentenced by a judge for up to six months in jail. Other charges related to this offense include fines of up to $2,500, as well as an 84 percent surcharge. It’s also mandatory that the individuals license be suspended for a period of two years.
Legal Defenses for Underage Drinking and Driving Charges
If you are facing these charges, the best thing you can do is contact an attorney for help. They will likely go over some of the defenses for this situation, which include:
- No reasonable suspicion for you to be stopped.
- No actual physical control of the vehicle.
- No probable cause for the arrest that was made.
- The denial of a right to counsel.
- An inaccuracy of the blood or breath testing device.
- A violation of the person’s Miranda rights.
- Incorrect or inaccurate police reports.
An attorney will be able to evaluate your case to determine if any of the above situations apply. In some cases, there are situations where more than one of the aforementioned defenses can be used. This is why it is so important to hire an attorney for assistance.
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney
If you are facing underage DUI charges, then the best thing you can do is hire a DUI defense attorney who understands all the possible defenses for your situation. Someone who is under the age of 21 has their entire life ahead. As a result, the last thing they need is to have a DUI conviction on their record, which can impact their reputation negatively and have adverse consequences for many years to come.
Finding the right attorney matters. Make sure to consider the options in the local area and their knowledge of Arizona laws. A quality attorney will be willing to work diligently to help you reduce the penalties and potential consequences that you face.