Driving while intoxicated (DWI) endangers everyone who uses public roads, making it a severe violation with hefty penalties. However, the consequences of this offense could vary based on the circumstances, including the violator’s age.
Typically, underage individuals caught committing DWI-related offenses could face the following penalties, depending on the incident’s details:
- Alcohol possession of an underage individual: The violator could face a $500 fine, up to 180 days of license suspension, up to 40 hours of community service and mandatory enrolment in an alcohol awareness course. These penalties could increase for subsequent violations.
- DWI of an underage driver: The standard sanctions could include a $500 fine, 60-day license suspension, up to 40 hours of community service and mandatory enrolment in an alcohol awareness course. However, violators could receive increased penalties if they are over 17 years old and have a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding .08. Repeat violations could also contribute to the sanctions.
- Adults caught providing alcohol to underage individuals: Providing or selling alcohol to an underage individual could lead to a $4,000 fine and jail time lasting around a year. This offense could also be a Class A misdemeanor. However, there are exceptions when a legal guardian or parent provides the alcohol and responsibly supervises the consumption.
Still, authorities advise parents and guardians to be an example to underage drivers by not driving after having a few alcoholic drinks. Teaching them to decide responsibly is vital, such as avoiding riding in a vehicle if its driver is intoxicated.
Varying penalties for different situations
These sanctions could only apply depending on the violation’s details. Sometimes, one incident could lead to multiple offenses, especially if the DWI caused a collision. The violator could face additional penalties if the incident caused physical harm or property damage. Nevertheless, these offenses could require sound legal advice to determine what happens next.