Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime not only in Pennsylvania but across all states. When it involves underage individuals, the consequences can be even more severe. In Pennsylvania, underage DUI carries specific penalties to discourage young individuals from engaging in such dangerous behavior. Understanding the potential liabilities of an underage DUI is crucial in raising awareness among young drivers to emphasize the importance of responsible decision-making.
Underage DUI not only has immediate repercussions, such as license suspension and fines, but can also have long-term effects on the offender’s future education, employment, and insurance rates. Seeking legal representation is crucial to navigating the legal system effectively and potentially minimizing the consequences.
Underage DUI Laws in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, underage DUI laws aim to address the risks associated with young drivers operating vehicles while intoxicated. While the BAC limit for adults is set at 0.08%, underage drivers can face DUI charges if their BAC exceeds 0.02%.
Minors who are caught driving while intoxicated in Pennsylvania may face the following penalties:
One of the immediate consequences of a minor driving under the influence in Pennsylvania is suspending the offender’s driving license. The standard license suspension length for a first violation is 12 months. However, by completing an accelerated rehabilitation program (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition – ARD), which entails probation and alcohol education classes, it is possible to shorten the suspension period (typically 90 days). The person’s driving privileges will not be restored until the suspension term has passed and all requirements have been met.
Criminal Charges and Fines
In Pennsylvania, a conviction for juvenile DUI carries criminal consequences in addition to license suspension. These charges range in severity according to the BAC and past DUI convictions. First-time offenders may face a misdemeanor charge, which, if convicted, the penalties are:
- a fine ranging from $300 to $5,000
- 48 hours to six months in jail
The actual sentence issued is determined by several variables, including the details of the offense, any prior DUI convictions, and the judge’s discretion. Subsequent violations will lead to more severe punishments, such as higher fines and lengthier prison terms. The person may also be obliged to participate in community service projects and go to compulsory alcohol treatment programs.
Ignition Interlock Requirement
An Ignition Interlock device is a breathalyzer installed in a car that checks the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The vehicle will not start if alcohol is detected above a specified level. In Pennsylvania, anybody convicted of DUI—including minors—must install an ignition interlock device. Even if the driver’s license suspension is expunged, underage DUI offenders may still be compelled to have an Ignition Interlock device put in their cars for a set time. The number of past DUI convictions and the person’s blood alcohol content determine how long the ignition interlock requirement will last.
Impact on Future Opportunities
A conviction for DUI for minors might have long-term effects on a person’s future possibilities. Having a criminal record can have a detrimental influence on school possibilities, scholarship options, and future jobs. DUI convictions are frequently discovered during background checks undertaken by colleges, universities, and potential employers, which may result in rejections or limitations on specific career routes. Young people must understand that the ramifications of an underage DUI go beyond the legal sanctions.
Another repercussion of an underage DUI in Pennsylvania is increased insurance payments. Insurance providers view DUI convictions as high-risk conduct, resulting in higher premiums. Increased insurance costs can last several years, putting an individual’s financial stability at risk.
Is It Possible to Remove an Underage DUI Conviction From My Record in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, it is not possible to completely remove an underage DUI conviction from a person’s record. Once a DUI conviction is recorded, it stays on the person’s criminal record permanently. However, certain measures can help lessen the sentence’s burden over time.
The process of expungement is one alternative. Through expungement, certain criminal records can be sealed, rendering them inaccessible to the general public. However, in Pennsylvania, expungement is generally unavailable for DUI convictions, including underage DUIs. The state’s expungement laws primarily focus on non-violent, summary offenses or cases where charges were dismissed or an individual who has completed an ARD program.
It is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Pennsylvania to understand your options. Your DUI attorney can advise on the best course of action and assist in navigating the legal processes to minimize the long-term consequences of an underage DUI conviction.
Retain a Talented DUI Attorney for Underage DUI Cases in Pennsylvania
It is critical that you consult a qualified DUI attorney if you or someone you know is charged with underage DUI in Pennsylvania. A knowledgeable DUI attorney can assist you through the legal system by protecting your rights and striving to reduce the potential repercussions. Our skilled DUI attorneys will review the case’s facts, challenge any shaky evidence, and negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the charges or fines. Our knowledge and experience can make a significant difference in the result of your case.
Contact our highly-qualified DUI attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. for effective legal representation and direction in underage DUI cases. Our team is devoted to defending your rights and assisting you to steer smoothly through the crooked legal process. Contact us online or call (215) 822-7575 to schedule a consultation today to discuss your case and explore your defense alternatives.