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Underage DUIs and collisions can lead to trouble

Your child has always been a little on the wild side, and you often encouraged their eccentricities. You want them to make mistakes and to learn from them. Unfortunately, their latest mistake is not one that you expected.

They decided to break into your liquor cabinet and get drunk with friends while you were at work. Then, they took a joyride in your car. That car is now in a ditch and being towed, while your child is facing serious allegations of being drunk behind the wheel.

If your teen drinks and drives, it's time to build a strong defense

Driving under the influence, especially when underage, is a serious offense. Your teen may lose their driving privileges and could face significant fines. This is a misdemeanor crime in most cases, that can also impact your child's ability to get a job in the future. Your teen may have to use an ignition interlock device if they are allowed to keep their license.

In Missouri, teens who drink and drive face charges based on zero-tolerance laws. Teens can have no more than .02% alcohol in their blood at any time. If they are under 21, they shouldn't be drinking at all (exceptions exist, but they are few and far between).

What happens if the passenger in the vehicle was hurt?

If the passenger with your teen was injured, what happens next may depend on the severity of the injuries. The passenger's parents may get involved and want to pursue compensation, for example. If your teen has insurance on the vehicle, that may not be a problem. If they aren't on your policy, then you could end up being held liable for any of the medical expenses or other costs that the passenger accrues as a result of your teen's actions.

It's hard to handle when you realize your teen has made a real mistake that could impact their future for years to come, but the truth is that all children make mistakes at one time or another. Your attorney will work closely with you to learn more about this situation and to determine if there are good defensive options. Your attorney's goal will be to prevent this case from going to court, but if it does, they will defend your child's rights and work to minimize the damage that any conviction causes to them now or in the future.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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