Oklahoma law takes a zero-tolerance stance toward underage drinking and driving. Even a trace amount of alcohol in a minor’s system may lead to steep penalties, including automatic loss of license, hundreds of dollars in fines and court fees, and a potential criminal conviction on his or her record.
Before pleading guilty to charges, minors and their parents should know how a conviction might impact their present and future lives.
What are potential penalties for an underage DUI?
Oklahoma considers a minor to be driving under the influence if they are behind the wheel or in actual physical control of a vehicle and he or she has a blood alcohol content over 0.00%. Underage drivers may also face DUI charges if a breath, blood, saliva or urine test shows evidence of other intoxicating substances.
Potential penalties for underage drinking and driving include:
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
- Revocation of driver’s license
- Increasing fines for 1st, 2nd and 3rd offenses
- Community service hours
- Mandatory attendance of a substance-abuse treatment program
Additionally, if a minor suspected of driving under the influence refuses to take a breath test, he or she may face a misdemeanor conviction and potential jail time.
How can minors minimize the impact of a DUI charge?
An underage DUI conviction can have consequences long after the sentence is complete. From housing, job options, college financial aid and other educational opportunities, an offense on record may affect a young adult for years to come. Minors and their families should know that a strong defense may help to minimize the potential impact of a conviction.