Your Child Got a DUI: Now What?

Your child has come home with bad news – they got a DUI. Whether you thought that your loved one might have an issue with alcohol, or you were blindsided by this event, now is the time to take steps to get through this. Now is the time to offer your support and learn about the DUI process. Knowing what your family is up against can help you get through this experience. Here are things to know to help them through this experience.

1: The Legal BAC Level for Minors is 0.02%

Adults in the state of Connecticut face DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at .08%. However, the threshold is much lower for minors, since they cannot legally drink at all. If your child is a minor and they register a .02% BAC or above, they are subject to DUI consequences. Even a small amount of alcohol could register a person at the .02% BAC level.

2: Are You Legally Liable?

If your child has a drinking problem, you might carry some guilt. But, can you be held legally responsible for their actions? This depends on many factors. For example, did you know that they were drinking? Did you provide them alcohol? Did you give them alcohol and let them drive? 

If the answer to any of these questions is, “yes”, you could legally be held responsible for your child’s actions. Providing alcohol to minors is against the law. You can be charged with the crime of Sale or Delivery to Minors, which is a Class E criminal felony. This crime can carry a penalty of up to 18 months to serve in jail and a fine of up to $3,500. You also face the crime of Permitting a Minor to Illegally Possess Alcohol, which is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.

3: Understand Penalties for Minors

There are several elements of DUI that you should understand as your child goes through the process. One thing that you need to understand is that DUI penalties for those under the age of 18 are different from penalties for adults. 

The first thing that will happen if your teenager is arrested for DUI is that their vehicle will be removed by the police, and your child’s license will be seized for 48 hours. To get their license back, your teen needs to have a parent or a legal guardian appear at the police station on their behalf. The guardian or parent has to sign for the license on the child’s behalf. 

Keep in mind that first time offenders can take advantage of the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program. If an offender is accepted into the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program, a judge will waive the DUI charges. You can discuss the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program’s benefits and drawbacks with an attorney.

Common penalties for DUI include jail time, fines, community service, and license suspension or revocation. Your child will also have to use an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle they drive once their license is reinstated. In addition, the penalties for DUI increase for multiple offenders. If your loved one finds themselves with more than one DUI it is important to seek help for them.

4: Criminal vs. DMV Process

One element of the DUI that you should understand is that your loved one faces two different processes. They face the criminal process through the court system, the consequences of which are listed above, and they face a DMV process. 

This is because the DMV is in charge of the privilege of driving. When reckless driving occurs, such as in the case of a DUI, the DMV can impose consequences at their discretion. 

This means that the DMV can impose an additional license suspension on your child, or revoke their license altogether. And get this: they can impact your loved one’s license even if they are found not guilty of a DUI. This is because the DMV is not under the stringent burdens of proof that a court of law is. They can make decisions about a person’s driving abilities at their discretion. 

5: Find an Attorney

Dealing with a Connecticut DUI is not something to take lightly. It is a good idea to contact an attorney to assist with this process. This is especially the case if your child faces multiple DUIs and more severe penalties. 

For more information about the Connecticut DUI and DUI representation, contact our office. We are happy to help.