Being charged with driving under the influence while underage and in college can result in a criminal offense and academic disciplinary proceedings. Utah has recently increased regulations for DUI offenses, so it is reasonable to believe that some Utah colleges may follow suit. If you were arrested for a DUI offense while you were underage and in college, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City DUI defense lawyer today. With over 16 years of criminal law experience, Darwin Overson can help you handle your DUI offense or any academic disciplinary proceedings that arise from your DUI offense. Overson Law is here to explain what happens if you get an underage DUI while in college in Utah.
Utah’s “Not a Drop” Zero Tolerance Law
In Utah, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. Those over 21 face a “legal limit” of .08 for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) (this lowers to .05 after Dec 30, 2018). However, Utah has employed a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to underage DUIs. Utah’s zero-tolerance policy, also known as the “Not a Drop” law, makes it illegal for individuals under 21 to drive a car after consuming a single sip of alcohol.
The purpose of the zero-tolerance law is to decrease incidences of drunk driving and underage drinking in Utah. Being arrested for DUI as an underage college student can lead to various legal and academic issues.
Academic Disciplinary Proceedings After an Underage DUI
Colleges typically have a code of conduct rule regarding issues like underage DUI and many other issues. If you were arrested for underage DUI, your college’s code of conduct may include academic penalties which could include disciplinary proceedings.
Your college’s code of conduct may also include clauses that discuss your right to have representation during the proceedings, like an advisor or a lawyer. If you are concerned about disciplinary proceedings regarding your underage DUI, you should contact a lawyer immediately.
It is important to note that academic proceedings are not the same as criminal proceedings. For example, you may be entitled to a lawyer, but you may still have to answer inquiries from school officials in your own words. However, a lawyer can help you determine the best method to deal with a disciplinary proceeding.
If you have to deal with disciplinary proceedings after an underage DUI, you should treat the proceedings just like a court case. That means that you should dress professionally, arrive on time and comply with any procedural requests. You may even be afforded the right to present evidence and witnesses to prove your case. If you are unclear about what you are allowed to do during a disciplinary hearing, you should speak with school officials to receive more information.
You should take a disciplinary hearing very seriously, especially if you are a student athlete or have a scholarship to attend your university. To learn more about underage DUI or disciplinary proceedings, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer.
Criminal Penalties for DUIs Under 21
If you were arrested for driving under the influence while under the age of 21, you may be subject to serious criminal penalties. Driver’s license suspension or revocation is one penalty that an underage DUI may bring. The length of your suspension will depend on your history of driving under the influence.
A minor who commits a DUI offense for the first time will likely have their license suspended for 120 days or until they turn 21, whichever is longer. If the minor does not possess a driver’s license, they will be prevented from applying for a license for at least 120 days.
A second misdemeanor DUI offense will result in the revocation of the minor’s license for at least 120 days. Revocation is different from suspension because a suspended license can be reinstated; a revoked license cannot. If the minor does not have a license or learner’s permit, their application will be delayed for two years or until they reach the age of 21.
Underage felony DUIs carry the most severe penalties for minors. These penalties will revoke your license for two years or until you turn 21, whichever time is longer.
While most minors arrested for DUI will typically avoid jail time, the suspension or revocation of their license can have a serious impact on their ability to gain employment. Many employers require a valid driver’s license, and a DUI on your record will reflect on you poorly.
Contact an Experienced Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you or a family member was arrested for underage DUI, you should contact an experienced Layton criminal defense attorney. Overson Law can help you fight disciplinary and criminal proceedings after an underage DUI. To schedule a free legal consultation, call us at (801) 758-2287.