Drivers of all ages are on the receiving end of warnings and information about the dangers of drunk driving. And teenage drivers are considered particularly at risk for DUI, despite these efforts. They may drive at 16, but in Arizona, the legal drinking age is 21. So not only are teens charged with driving safely, they are also expected to behave responsibly when it comes to alcohol.
Now, back to the real world, where people of all ages drink and exhibit other risky behaviors. Teens are no exception. And now, a recent study suggests that teenagers who ride in cars with impaired drivers may be more likely to drive drunk themselves. The more times they ride around with impaired drivers, the greater the likelihood they will drive while impaired.
This study brings a new definition to the term “under the influence.” Teenagers generally are still learning what it means to make responsible choices about their own behavior, and peer pressure – along with the behavior of their friends – can have significant impact. This study raises a serious concern: that even being a passenger, drinking or not, can lead to drunk driving.
Arizona penalties for underage DUI convictions are harsh. Even a first offense may include 24 hours in jail, over $1000 in fines, and license suspension. For a second conviction within seven years of the first one: 30-90 days in jail, fines up to $2500, and another license suspension. Drivers under 21 with DUI convictions may permanently lose their auto insurance. And the presence of underage passengers in the vehicle at the time of the DUI stop can lead to even more severe penalties.
If you have questions about how Arizona DUI laws may affect you or someone you know, you may want to speak with an experienced attorney at Zachary Law Group. In our FREE 30-minute case evaluation, we can discuss your concerns about DUI issues. Should you need legal representation, we will identify and assert your rights. Looking for the best possible outcome? Let us “Zach-It”! It’s natural to worry about your children, and the more information you have, the more help you can give. Call us soon at 1-855-Zach-law.