College students and high school students accused of drinking and driving do not get softer treatment. In fact, the alcohol threshold is lower for underage drivers. The best hope for avoiding a criminal record and retaining driving privileges is prompt attention by an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer.
Our lawyers at David G. Moore, Attorney at Law, have represented under-21 drivers on OWI charges, minor in possession (MIP) and other alcohol-related offenses. We practice in Southwest Michigan and represent many college students of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College and surrounding schools. Contact our firm online for a free consultation.
Severe Consequences For Underage Drivers Who Have Had Even One Drink
Under Michigan’s zero tolerance law, a driver under 21 years of age can be cited for a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 or greater. This essentially means any alcohol in one’s system — less than one beer.
- A first-time zero tolerance offense is not punishable by jail time, but it does result in a 30-day license restriction and it counts as a first offense if that driver is ever arrested as an adult for drunk driving.
- A second zero tolerance offense results in a 90-day license suspension, as well as possible jail time, community service, fines and a $500 driver responsibility fee for two years.
- If an underage driver is arrested with a BAC of .08 or higher, he or she will face the same drunk driving (OWI) charges and penalties as an adult.
Skilled Defense Against Underage Drunk Driving And Minor In Possession Charges
Minor in possession of alcohol (MIP) can also cause trouble for young adults, even if they were not driving. A first offense is a $100 fine, but it is a misdemeanor on one’s record. A second MIP carries 30 days of license suspension and 60 days of restriction (driving only to school or work). A third MIP before age 21 carries 60 days’ suspension and a full year of restriction.
There are programs to keep a young person’s record clean for first offenses of possessing alcohol, transporting alcohol, or drinking and driving. Our attorneys know the Michigan statutes, the constitutional rights, the viable defenses and how to advocate for you or your child within the local criminal justice system to fight the citation or minimize the consequences.
Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney For A Free Consultation
Even adults are intimidated by police, but an arrest for drinking and driving can be especially scary for high school and college students. They often do not know their rights and are more likely to give up their rights or help the police make their case. Call us immediately at our Portage office at 269-216-4573, or contact us online to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.