What happens if a teen driver gets a DUI?

Many parents already struggle with handing the keys over to their teenaged-driver. Teens are consistently associated with texting, recklessness and poor judgment on the roads. But what if your child drives while intoxicated?

It’s a scary scenario for most parents to consider. No one wants to believe their child is capable of making poor decisions, but teens make mistakes. It is a part of growing up in our society. Your role, as the parent, is to help them learn from those mistakes.

What do teens face in court?

In Louisiana, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent, but that lowers to .02 percent for drivers under 21. If a teen driver drives with a BAC higher than .02 percent, they face a variety of possible penalties in court:

  • First offense – they perform 32 hours of community service or two days in jail. They will also pay a $1,000 fine and lose their license for 180 days.
  • Second offense – They perform 240 hours of community service or 15 days in jail, pay $1,000 fine and a maximum two-year license suspension.
  • Third offense – diversion program or one year in jail.

While these penalties seem strict, the sentence could be more aggressive if your driver has a BAC higher than .15 percent. It may result in higher fines, longer sentences and even an ignition interlock device.

Does it stop there?

Unfortunately, criminal charges have a significant impact on more than just a wallet. Teens who are convicted of a DUI may also deal with:

  • Rejections from college
  • Rejections for federal financial aid
  • Denials for job opportunities
  • Difficulty finding an apartment or credit card
  • Expulsion from extracurricular activities

The repercussions are long-lasting and significant on your child’s life, and parents should consider all the options on how to approach fighting the charges in court or expunging any previous charges before the child starts applying for universities.

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