What to know if your teen gets a drunk driving charge

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2021 | Drunk Driving |

If your teen driver faces a charge for operating a vehicle under the influence in Massachusetts, it could involve stiff consequences. Penalties may include costly fines, license suspensions, mandatory alcohol education classes, community service and possible jail time. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicates that teen drivers have a risk of causing a fatal crash three times higher than experienced drivers do. Alcohol consumption can hinder your underage driver more substantially than an adult with the same blood alcohol content. 

Financial ramifications

Various expenses stem from drunk driving charges. Financial obligations your child may face include: 

  • Fines of $500-$5,000 for first-time drunk driving charges 
  • Impounded vehicle costs, such as the price of towing and storage plus the fee to get the car back 
  • Alcohol education program fees of approximately $600 
  • Court fees and legal defense costs 
  • The fee to reinstate the driver’s license 
  • Increased monthly insurance premiums 
  • Compensation costs for third-party injuries or damages 

Legal complications

An OUI is always a severe legal matter but becomes even more significant when the offender is not yet of legal drinking age. The laws are typically harsher for first-time teen offenders than for adults in the same situation. “Zero tolerance” laws deem any measurable amount of substance in the bloodstream illegal for drivers under 21. 

Future complications

A conviction of this type may have lifelong consequences. It could prevent your child from getting jobs, scholarships or admittance to college. Service in the armed forces may no longer be an option. 

Understanding the possible outcomes of a drunk driving charge is crucial to managing the situation. With adequate information, you can keep your teen’s best interests in mind.