A teenager who has been stopped by police and accused of drunk driving in Tennessee can face serious consequences. Drunk driving is not a crime tolerated by many in Tennessee and the penalties continue to get harsher. Underage drinking and driving can carry consequences that can affect a teenager’s future.

If a teen is arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving they can feel scared and alone. Drunk driving charges are serious, even for underage kids. Alcohol use is prohibited for anyone under the age of 21. For adults who are over the age of 21, the blood alcohol content for drunk driving must be 0.08 percent or over. But for drivers under the age of 21, the blood alcohol content for drunk driving is 0.02 percent or more. This means that underage drivers with just a small amount of alcohol in their system can be arrested for drunk driving.

The penalties for drunk driving on the first offense for ages 16 to 18 is a juvenile court matter that can include a $250 fine, license suspension and the possibility of community service. Ages 18 to 21 can be charged with a misdemeanor, $250 fine, license suspension and community service. They can also be charged with an implied consent violation if they refuse to submit to a blood or breath test.

Tennessee teens who have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in criminal defense. An attorney can help represent them and help them tell their side of the story.

Source: Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, “DUI Offenses,” accessed on Oct. 4, 2015