Teens Who Drink and Drive

Teens and alcohol don’t mix and very often it seems that teens are driving don’t mix either; so what about those teens that do both – drink and drive?

Underage DUI’s

Renee Silverman
Renee Silverman

Teens and young adults under the age of 21 are not legally permitted to drink alcohol and no one of any age should get behind the wheel of a car after drinking. When both of these laws are broken at once and teens make the dangerous choice to drink and drive, the statistics can get ugly. Some of the facts stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:

• “One in 10 teens in high school drinks and drives.

• Young drivers (ages 6-20) are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of .08%.

• 85% of teens in high school who report drinking and driving in the past month also say they binge drank [more than 5 alcoholic drinks within a couple hours]”

Penalties for teens who drink and drive

Not only do teens need to worry about the dangers of alcohol on a young brain and the messy combination mixing alcohol with driving, teens who are caught driving drunk can expect certain penalties as well. These penalties can include a fine too large for any after school job to afford as well as 48 hours of house arrest or even detention along with probation. Teens who drink and drive can usually expect to lose their driver’s license for anywhere from 6 months until they turn 21 years old. They are also expected to attend alcohol abuse classes.

Not worth it

Drink and Drive
Photo by: Jono Haysom

Making the choice to drink and drive is a choice with more disadvantages than any buzz is worth. If that bad choice is made, it is important to understand how teens fit into the legal system. Teenagers who are facing charges in juvenile court for minor consumption of underage DUI should be represented by a juvenile defense attorney. Those who are facing criminal charges with the possibility of being charged as an adult should speak with a criminal defense attorney. The best bet would be to find an attorney who can handle anything from a juvenile misdemeanor to an adult felony for any charge accrued by a teen.

Potential Consequences for Utah Juveniles Who are Found Guilty in Juvenile Court

Photo: KeithBurtis

There are a variety of potential consequences awaiting Utah juveniles who have been found guilty of committing some type of offense. A juvenile court judge has the ability to determine which consequences, if any, should be handed out to an individual youth.

Fines

Utah juveniles may find themselves responsible for paying one or more fines; the amount(s) would tend to be based on the offense(s) committed by the juvenile.

Written Assignments

Some probations officers might ask a youth to write a letter of apology to the victim and/or a report regarding their behavior.

Restitution

If a youth and his family are unable to come up with the cash to pay the juvenile’s restitution, they can apply for the youth to be put on a work detail–that money earned would then go to the victim.

Counseling

Counseling may be ordered for some Utah juveniles; the court can also order psychological evaluations to use in determining the best treatment for kids.

Community Service

This consequence can be used instead of making a juvenile offender pay fines.

Detention

Because of the severity of their offenses, some Utah juveniles are sent to a juvenile detention facility to serve a specified period of time. Home detention may also be a possible consequence.

Why Your Child Needs an Attorney

If your child is charged with committing any offense, he needs to be represented by a Utah juvenile defense attorney to make sure that he’s treated fairly and respectfully. The last thing you need at a difficult time is to try and figure out how to navigate the confusing world of juvenile justice.

Do yourself and your child a favor and contact an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

Utah Teens Leave Youth Center, Warrants Issued

Photo: Mustafa Khayat

Four Utah teens recently left a Draper youth center, which isn’t a secure facility, but is set aside as a place youth “inmates” aren’t allowed to leave without permission.

On the Run?

Two of the Utah teens were located in Orem, but the other two young men–a 15- and 16-year old, are still unaccounted for. Warrants have been issued for their arrests, since they’re not legally supposed to leave the youth facility on their own.

The youth center is a supervised facility for teens who’ve been ordered “incarcerated” for 60 to 90 days. This particular type of facility houses troubled youth who also are required to perform community service, in addition to other consequences assigned by a juvenile court judge.

Worries About Teens’ Abilities to Care for Themselves

News reports indicate that law enforcement are concerned for the two teens’ welfare and hope they don’t become dangerous. Of course, we don’t have any other information on these two young men, so discussing their potential danger to the community seems quite speculative at this point.

Troubled youth facilities can be beneficial for some Utah teens; quite a bit likely depends on the people who run the facility and the teens themselves.

Consult with a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney

It’s important to make sure that any youth who finds himself in trouble with the law gets the best legal help possible, as quickly as possible. Having an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney on your child’s side can make all the difference in the outcome of his or her case.

Help your child today by contacting a reputable Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

When Can Utah Juveniles Get Probation?

Utah juveniles who are adjudicated in juvenile court may be eligible for probation; only a judge can make that decision.

Photo: Chris Costes

The Probation Process

Probation for Utah juveniles begins the moment a judge enters an order for probation. Probation is an indefinite time period and can only end with a court order. Depending on the severity of the offense, a juvenile might be placed immediately in detention or may spend two weeks under house arrest.

Within a couple of days, a probation officer with the juvenile court will contact the youth’s family and arrange for an appointment where they will discuss a variety of topics including the probation order, house arrest and drug testing.

First Month of Probation

This time period is an assessment and planning phase during which the probation officer interviews the youth and his family and others who can help the probation officer determine the best course of action for helping the delinquent youth.

Protective and Risk Assessment

This tool is utilized by probation officers to help determine a youth’s risk and protection factors. Risk factors are issues that could put a youth at risk for reoffending. Protective factors include situations that could help a youth not reoffend.

Once the top three risk factors are identified by the probation officer, those factors become the focus of the plan to help the youth. They may be his goals for avoiding reoffending. The hope is that when risk factors are nailed down, a plan can be put into place for helping a youth stay on the right track.

After the first month of probation, each juvenile is placed into a risk level so that he can be supervised appropriately. Higher risk youth will receive greater supervision and structure. The probation officer will then keep tabs on each youth and make regular reports to the juvenile court judge.

Talk to a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child is adjudicated in juvenile court, it makes sense to hire an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney to make sure that your child receives the appropriate treatment for him. There isn’t a one size fits all category in juvenile court, and your child’s attorney can assist in helping see that your child is treated fairly. Talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

Juvenile Delinquency Court Process

Once your child is charged with a law violation, he will be involved in the juvenile delinquency court process. The police department sends a referral to the juvenile court and then depending on the charge, his case may fall into one of a variety of process levels.

Photo: Joe Loong

1st Level—Bailable Offense: This covers most youths under 16 for the following problems: most traffic offenses, park and recreation offenses, wildlife violation and other minor infractions.

2nd Level—Citation Diversion Unit: This level is for a youth’s first to third time at Juvenile Court and includes all other offenses that are a class B misdemeanor or lower. Your child will receive a date and time to appear in Juvenile Court from a police officer or a letter requiring his attendance at a class.

3rd Level—Preliminary Inquiry: These include all levels that are not covered by the Citation Diversion Unit, class B misdemeanor or higher. A probation officer will provide you and your child with a letter detailing the date and time of a meeting.

4th Level—Arraignment: Your child will be required to come to court for an arraignment for juvenile delinquency if he’s failed to attend his CDU or Preliminary Inquiry or if there’s been other non-compliance issues. The court will send a notice of hearing.

5th Level—Pretrial: A Pretrial hearing will be held if your child denies the charges or has an attorney.

6th Level—Trial: If you and your child meet with a deputy County Attorney concerning the case and cannot reach an agreement a trial will be held and your child will have the opportunity to call witnesses in his behalf. It would be prudent to have an attorney who is familiar with the law handle your child’s trial.

A parent or guardian is required to attend every part of a juvenile delinquency court proceeding, whether it is a meeting, trial or any other court-ordered event. Your attorney should also be present at any hearing, meeting, etc.

Take advantage of the opportunity to have an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney take care of your child’s case. Any charges against a youth are worth the time spent consulting a juvenile defense attorney, and may mean the difference between detention or probation for certain offenses.