Prom night is a rite of passage for many teens. Whether you end up as prom queen or crying alone in the bathroom, prom night is one experience you will remember for years.
Sadly, too many teens spend prom drinking alcohol or doing drugs and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. At Tad Nelson & Associates, we want all young people to graduate high school on the right foot, which means no alcohol- or drug-related convictions which can make it hard to get into college or find a job. Make a commitment to enjoying prom this year completely sober.
If the police stop you, then you could face different criminal charges. Although you might not think these are a big deal, trust us: they are. Call our law firm to get accurate legal advice about how to fight these charges.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUIA)
If you are under 21, you could face a DUIA charge. Legally, you can’t buy alcohol, so the state has a lower legal limit for you. For adults, it’s 0.08. For a minor: any detectable amount. In other words, if you take a drink, you’re over the limit.
Someone under 17 is likely facing a Class C misdemeanor charge, with a maximum $500 fine. Although you will avoid jail, you probably need to perform community service and take an alcohol education class. Your license will also be suspended for at least 60 days.
If you are 17 but younger than 21, you are facing a Class B misdemeanor. This carries a minimum of 72 hours in jail, up to 180 days. You can also be fined $2,000 and have your license suspended for a year. You can get the suspension reduced to 90 days if you install an ignition interlock device and perform community service.
By accepting a driver’s license, you have also given your implied consent to take a breath test when suspected of drunk driving. If you outright refuse, you can face a mandatory 180-day license suspension—even if you weren’t drunk! Note that this is a longer suspension for someone under 17 than if they blow a high number and are found to have committed the offense.
Even if you don’t drive, you could face public intoxication charges on prom night. Under this law, the police can arrest you if you are intoxicated, meaning under the influence of drugs or alcohol (or some combination of both) and you are a danger to yourself or another person.
This is a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a maximum $500 fine, community service, license suspension, and mandatory alcohol awareness class. These might sound like light punishments, but they do give you a criminal record. Going forward, you could face enhanced penalties if you commit other criminal offenses down the road, so it is best to avoid any charge.
Dealing with Criminal Charges?
We Can Help
Our lawyers can help any juvenile or adult with an alcohol-related criminal offense, including DUIA or DWI. If you need our help, please contact our law firm to speak with a member of our legal team. Our phone number is 713-802-1631.