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What are the Indiana penalties for underage DUI?

Drunk driving charges are taken seriously in Indiana regardless of the person's age. When it is a person who is driving under the influence when he or she was not even legally allowed to drink, there are different penalties assessed than for someone who is 21 or older. Those who are confronted with underage DUI should be aware that they will be subjected to various penalties just as a person who is 21. Although people who are under age 21 should know not to drink and drive, simply facing these allegations does not automatically imply guilt. With the consequences of a conviction, it is vital to formulate a defense against drunk driving charges.

In Indiana, it is against the law for a person under age 21 to even possess alcohol. They cannot consume it either, nor can they transport the beverage on a public highway if they are not accompanied by at least one parent or guardian. If there are charges related to this, it will be a Class C misdemeanor.

When the minor is alleged to have operated the vehicle after drinking alcohol, a conviction will result in the driver's license being suspended for as long as one year. For a minor who is younger than 18, the court will order the driving privileges to be suspended to a minimum of 60 days. With a license suspension, the bureau of motor vehicles will be informed and the person's driving privileges will be suspended based on what the court has ordered.

A minor is defined as a person who is under the age of 21. These laws are in place to ensure that people who are under a certain age do not drink and drive. However, just because there are allegations does not mean they are accurate. Losing driving privileges can be a hardship and if the person is under the age of 21, it can cause other problems in his or her life. It is possible that the person was not under the influence of alcohol or the traffic stop and testing procedures were not done according to established state protocol. Lodging a defense against underage drunk driving is key and should be started immediately after the arrest is made with help from an experienced attorney.

Source: in.gov, "Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws In Indiana -- page 8," accessed on Oct. 3, 2017

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