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It’s easier for teen drivers to get DUIs

On Behalf of | May 11, 2024 | DUI Defense

Any driver who operates their vehicle under the influence risks getting a DUI. This most commonly means driving with alcohol in their system, although they could get a DUI if they’ve been using marijuana or certain prescription medications.

But there is also a legal limit that police enforce, and it is 0.08% for most drivers. A driver can be given a breath test that will measure their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If their BAC level is over 0.08%, then it is presumed that they are impaired.

It can take a different amount of alcohol for two different drivers to reach this level. For instance, weight and gender are both linked to BAC rates. If a 100-pound woman and a 200-pound man consume the same amount of alcohol, the woman may have a much higher BAC.

Why is it easier for teenagers?

The first thing to note about teenagers is that many of them will be smaller than adults, so their BAC tends to go up faster. Plus, if they have relatively little experience with alcohol, they may feel far more impaired than an adult who drinks on a consistent basis.

But the real issue is that teenagers have a different legal limit. Because they’re not allowed to drink until they are 21, their BAC limit is 0.02%.

Essentially, the law prohibits any detectable amount of alcohol. But this means that a teenager who had half of a drink before deciding to leave a party and go home could still be arrested on drunk driving charges. They may argue that they are not impaired at all and that they were trying to leave the situation, but they would technically have violated that low legal limit. Teens who find themselves in this position need to know about their criminal defense options.