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What penalties can your child face if charged with DUI?

Imagine getting a phone call in the middle of the night. You have already been sleeping, so when you answer the phone, you have to concentrate to follow the panicked voice on the other end of the line. It's your son. He is scared and in jail after being arrested for underage drunk driving.

Any parent in Nashville would be worried in a situation like this. You may be angry at your son, disappointed that he may have chosen to drink and then drive, and worried about what this will mean for his future. But what can you do to help him?

When faced with a situation like this, it is important to understand that a DUI conviction can have a serious effect on your child's life. In Tennessee, if a minor between the ages of 16 and 20 is caught driving with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.02, he or she can be arrested for driving while impaired. The penalties for such an offense include one year of license revocation, a $250 fine and possible service hours.

Although these penalties may not seem too harsh, the worst penalty is the fact that your child will have a DUI on his or her record. DUI charges can negatively affect job opportunities and college applications among other things. To protect your child's future, it is important to talk to an attorney experienced in underage DUI.

The fact of the matter is that all DUI charges are not the same, and sometimes police make mistakes. It is possible to defend against underage DUI charges or work with the judge and prosecutor to come up with a fair resolution that will have a minimal impact on your child's future endeavors.

Source: Department of Safety & Homeland Security -- DUI Offenses, "Penalties for drug and alcohol-related offenses committed by minors," Feb. 5, 2014

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