The Legal BAC for Minors is Not 0.08%
For drivers over the age of 21, the legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%. Anything over that value will most likely result in a DUI charge. For minors, however, the legal limit of blood alcohol content is just 0.02%, which is very, very low. In some cases, eating or drinking anything shortly before the test — even without alcohol — could result in a 0.02% reading.
The penalties for underage drinking and driving are very stiff, compared to the penalties that of-age drinkers face when charged with a DUI.
- Up to 30 months in a House of Corrections
- Automatic license suspension between 90 days to 1 year
- A fine of between $500-$5000
Second and Subsequent Offenses
- Up to 1 year in jail
- License suspension for up to 2 years
- A fine of between $600-$10,000
No Lookback Period
Massachusetts, unlike other states, does not have a “lookback” period for DUI’s. If a minor is charged with a DUI at the age of 18 and receives another DUI charge 20 years later, it is a second offense. In some states, the lookback period is 10 years. This means that a second charge after 10 years is charged as a first. Because Massachusetts doesn’t have a lookback period, it’s critical to fight any DUI charge with every resource available.
Questions to Ask After an Underage DUI
A criminal defense lawyer will explore a number of different strategies to attempt to have the charges dismissed or reduced. Questions typically asked include but are not limited to:
- Was the original stop lawful? Did the officer have probable cause to pull the minor over in the first place?
- Was the officer’s breathalyzer equipment properly calibrated according to the law?
- Are there alternative explanations for the breathalyzer reading, such as medical conditions like acid reflux that cause a higher mouth alcohol concentration?
- Are there alternative explanations for failed roadside sobriety tests, such as fatigue or certain medical conditions that make balancing difficult?
At the Law Offices of Thomas Kokonowski, Esq., we have the skills and resources to help minors overcome DUI charges. Call today for a consultation at (413) 585-9200 or (413) 549-0022.