A few weeks ago, Alpharetta resident Caitlyn Mackenzie graduated from the University of Georgia. Though she is still in Athens, her current residence is vastly different than the one most UGA students enjoy. Mackenzie was sentenced to 15 years of probation with the first 90 days to be served in Clarke County Jail. The sentencing came after Mackenzie pled guilty to DUI, reckless driving, and six counts of serious injury by vehicle related to a car accident in 2016.
The accident happened on May 22, 2016, at 2:30 a.m. Law enforcement arrived soon afterward, and a body cam video shows Mackenzie on the ground unable to walk. Mackenzie initially told the officer that she had only had one beer that night but changed her story when a test revealed her BAD level of 0.12.
In imposing the sentence, the judge agreed to give Mackenzie the first-offender sentence. This means that her felony record will be erased if she successfully completes probation.
Though Mackenzie is now 21-years-old, at the time of the accident she was underage. In today's post, I'm going to be talking about what can happen if a driver younger than 21 is caught driving under the influence.
Underage DUI in Roswell and Alpharetta
Though the legal limit is .08 for drivers who are of age, the limit is only .02 for drivers younger than 21. The reason the law even allows some alcohol to be in a minor's system while they're driving is to offer some leeway for variables like gum or mouthwash, which may occasionally show up on a BAC test. Even if there are no visible signs that an underage driver is impaired, if they register more than .02 BAC, the underage driver will be arrested and charged.
As a Roswell Alpharetta DUI Lawyer, I know that receiving a DUI under the age of 21 can leave you with a criminal record for the rest of your life. While some people like Caitlyn Mackenzie get lucky, that is not necessarily standard procedure. The typical penalty for a charge of underage driving under the influence is license suspension, fines, alcohol risk reduction classes, and community service. After conviction, the offender can expect to lose their license for between 6 months to a year, depending on how high their BAC was, 12 months of probation, and fines often over $1,000.
It is never a good idea for anyone to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, but the consequences are especially severe if the driver is younger than 21. If you have received a DUI in Roswell or Alpharetta and are under 21, you must act fast to fight your case now. At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, our team of Roswell Alpharetta DUI Attorneys will work with you to build a defense and aim for dismissing or reducing your charges. Call our office today.