Minneapolis Underage DWI Attorney
Defense for Minors Charged with Crimes
Minnesota’s legal drinking age is 21. Consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21 is unlawful except in a private, non alcohol-selling premises and with the consent of a parent or legal guardian. Minnesota is also a zero-tolerance state. This means that if a driver under the age of 21 is found to have a blood alcohol content over .00, they can be cited for DWI.
Have you or your child been charged with underage DWI? Contact our firm today to discuss your case during a free consultation.
Minnesota Underage DWI Laws
Only 10 percent of licensed drivers are under the age of 21, yet they are responsible for 17 percent of all alcohol-related fatal crashes. Because underage drivers have a tendency to binge-drink, underage victims of car accidents on average have a BAC that is far above the legal limit.
Under Minnesota law, drivers under the age of 21 can receive misdemeanor penalties and license suspensions if they are convicted of driving under the influence. Drivers aged 16 and 17 who are found to be in violation of DWI law can be tried in an adult court and face the full range of adult penalties, except for incarceration in adult facilities.
Minnesota’s Under 21 law prohibits underage drivers from the following:
- Drinking alcohol without parental permission and supervision
- Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol
- Possessing alcohol with an intent to consume
- Misrepresenting one’s age in order to purchase alcohol
What are the Penalties of Underage DWI?
Violating the rules of the Under 21 statute is a misdemeanor and carries different penalties based on blood alcohol content and whether or not the driver has had previous convictions. A first offense, if BAC is under .08, will result in a 30-day license suspension. If over .08, the driver will be subject to DWI penalties, including imprisonment for up to 90 days, a fine of up to $1,000, and a 90-day license suspension.
If an underage driver receives a second conviction, they will face a 180-day license suspension for a BAC under .08, and if over .08 will face imprisonment for 30-90 days, a fine of up to $3,000, and a license suspension of 180 days or 360 days if they had another minor in the car. Additionally, underage drivers may lose their auto insurance policies, or they may face increased premiums that will stay with them for up to five years.
Underage drivers also run the risk of being charged with other related crimes, including:
- Distributing alcohol to minors
- Soliciting alcohol
- Child endangerment
- Minor in possession
- Possession of false ID
Trusted Criminal Defense Representation for Juvenile Crimes
If your child is facing DWI charges, it is urgent that you contact a criminal defense lawyer from our firm as soon as possible. The charges they face now could have a negative effect on their futures. Make sure you do all that you can to protect your child’s future by retaining the sound legal counsel of attorneys who are familiar with Minnesota law and who know how to best handle juvenile crimes cases. Your chances of possibly having your child’s charges lessened or dismissed are greatly improved when you entrust your case to us.
To contact a Minneapolis juvenile crime lawyer from Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A., please call our office at (612) 444-5020. We are available 24/7 to offer you a free consultation.