Underage DUIs, or “Baby DUIs” as they are referred to, are unique in Arizona because they are handled in part like a juvenile case and in part like an adult DUI. For instance, If you are under the age of 18 (and not too close to your 18th birthday), your case will be filed in juvenile court, likely in Mesa, Arizona, where the consequences and sentencing structure are significantly different than adult courts like Scottsdale City Court or Tempe City Court..
“Baby DUIs” are an additional charge for those Arizona drivers accused of DUI who have not reached the legal drinking age of 21. The state of Arizona has a “zero-tolerance” policy regarding these types DUIs. This means that any amount of alcohol found in one’s system can result in guilt. As a result, one should be concerned about using too much mouth wash, or even eating too much rum cake, or any of a myriad of other legitimate reasons that even a trace amount of alcohol could be found in someone’s system. It doesn’t matter how small the trace amount is or it is impairing. if you are under the age of 21 and get pulled over and your BAC is even as low as a 0.01% you could be charged with a “Baby DUI”.
The traditional consequences, for an underage DUI are not as harsh as an adult DUI. There is no mandatory jail time in Arizona for a baby DUI, however it does require a two year license suspension, which is significantly longer than the 90 days for individuals over the age of 21. There are certain situations where a skilled attorney can argue for a restricted driver’s license after an initial period of the suspension, but it is not mandatory. Additionally, any amount of alcohol in someone under the age of 21 who is driving subjects them to the consequences under the statute. The state does not need to prove the .08 standard as they do in individuals over the age of 21.
At the Rosenstein Law Group, our attorneys are well versed in dealing with underage DUIs. They understand that mistakes happen and they will do everything they can to ensure that one misstep will not follow you through your life and years of jobs and college applications.