Penalties For Underage DUI in DC

If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence while under the age of 21 it is important you consult with a DC underage DUI lawyer as soon as possible, as these charges tend to carry serious consequences. A DUI conviction almost always carries a term of probation as a penalty. Additionally, there may or may not be jail time imposed depending upon such factors as whether drugs were in the person’s system, whether their alcohol level reaches a certain height, whether or not there were young children in the car, or if they have a prior conviction for DUI.

They can expect to have alcohol education and driver improvement courses imposed upon them such as the Victim Impact Panels which is a Mother’s Against Drunk Driving presentation. In addition, there will be some fines, fees, and automatic suspension of driving privileges. All those things will come from a DUI conviction. The specific penalty can vary based upon the specific case, but those are the normal penalties we see with DUI convictions.

Restricted Licenses after Underage DUIs in DC

Restricted licenses are not available in the District of Columbia. DC does not have a restricted license for suspensions or revocations that result from an alcohol-related offense. So, no one can get a restricted permit in DC for a license suspension based on DUI.

Long-Term Consequences of an Underage DUI in DC

Well, that can have serious negative consequences for employment. Any employer is going to want to know a potential hire’s criminal background. It can have negative consequences when they’re trying to apply or enroll in college or graduate school, and applying for any kind of government programs or grants.

Basically, a DUI conviction on their record has a negative mark until and unless they can have it taken off. There is a potential application of the D.C. Youth Rehabilitation Act which provides a youthful offender under the age of twenty two to have his record expunged if he successfully completes probation and the court approves. That’s rather unique to DC.

Unlike someone who’s over the age of twenty two where DUI conviction can never be expunged, under DC law, someone under the age of twenty two at the time of their conviction, if they successfully complete everything can have that conviction taken off of their criminal record. It is a very good benefit and that’s why it’s important for someone who has a potential of getting treatment under the Youth Rehabilitation Act to follow all the rules that the court orders so they can benefit from it.

Alternative Sentencing for Underage DUIs in DC

With any DUI case in DC, typically, we expect to see probation as opposed to jail. If jail is required based on a level of alcohol in their system or other factors such as prior DUI convictions, then that will not be an alternative to jail. The statute is very explicit that if jail is required, then jail must be served and it must be served at the beginning of the probationary period and it must be served all at once.

That’s the change that occurred in August of 2012. It used to be that an individual could break up the jail on weekends over an amount of time but now, if jail is required, then it has to be served all at once right up front.