When a teenager in Philadelphia passes their driver's test and is issued a driver's license, it is a big day. It is a big step towards gaining freedom from their parents and beginning to transition to the next stage of their life. The new found freedom also comes with new responsibilities, which cannot be taken lightly. Drivers need to make sure that they are driving safely to ensure their own safety, as well as those around them.
According to the police, one teenager recently made a poor choice prior to getting behind the wheel. The teenager allegedly was driving an SUV in Philadelphia and struck a parked car on the side of the road. The SUV flipped as a result of the accident. The police arrived and ultimately, arrested him on suspicion of drunk driving.
Since drinking is illegal for those under the age of 21, a teenager is not allowed to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .02 when driving. It is unclear what the teenager's BAC was at the time of the alleged incident, but it does not need to be very high because he was under 21 years of age.
The penalties for an underage DUI are harsher than those for underage drinking in general, but any time a teenager is caught drinking, they face significant penalties. These penalties have both short-term and long-term consequences. The short-term penalties can include license suspension and fines among other penalties. The long-term consequences are that the teenager now has a criminal record that will have to be disclosed on future school and job applications, which can have a big effect on their life.
Many teenagers in Philadelphia are charged with underage drinking in Philadelphia every year. The consequences are severe, but there may be defenses available to the teenager and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Experienced attorneys understand these potential defenses and may be a useful resource.
Source: NBC 10, "SUV overturns in Manayunk, 19-year-old arrested for DUI," Steve Beck, Jan. 9, 2016