In Kansas, lawmakers are particularly harsh on underage offenders—especially when it comes to drinking and driving. For this reason, it is important to understand that you are subject to the state's "zero-tolerance law" until you have reached the age of 21. This means that you could face steep penalties if you were found to be operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or greater. Unlike a regular DUI offense, this crime is typically charged as an infraction. Because of this, you could not be sentenced to time in jail. Instead, your driver's license would automatically be suspended for 30 days, followed by 330 days of restricted driving privileges.
This is only for a first-time violation of the state's zero-tolerance law, however, as subsequent offenses would result in even stricter consequences. For example, a second offense would result in a 1-year suspension of your license and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for 2 years. Should you be convicted of a third offense, your license would be suspended for 1 year, followed by 3 years of driving with an ignition interlock device. For this reason, you should not hesitate to enlist the assistance of our Olathe underage DUI attorney from Garretson & Toth, LLC if you or someone you love has been accused of violating this law. We can offer 57 years of combined experience.
While it is illegal for an individual under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of .02% or higher, one would only be in violation of the state's zero-tolerance law if their BAC did not rise above .08%. In the event that an underage driver's BAC was measured at .08% or greater, however, they would be subjected to the same DUI laws as anyone else. In Kansas, the subsequent penalties would be as follows:
First DUI Offense (Class B Non-Person Misdemeanor)
Second DUI Offense (Class A Non-Person Misdemeanor)
Third DUI Offense (Non-Person Felony)
Fourth DUI Offense (Non-Person Felony)
Fifth or Subsequent DUI Offense (Non-Person Felony)
When an individual under the age of 21 is found to be operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of .15% or greater, they could be charged with an aggravated DUI offense. This means that they would be subjected to enhanced penalties, on top of the consequences associated with a regular DUI offense in Kansas. In fact, a conviction for this offense would result in the automatic suspension of the underage individual's license for one year, as well as the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for the following year. Keep in mind that these penalties would simply be added to those associated with a regular DUI, however, as they would also be faced with a minimum of 48 hours in jail, $500 in fines and the impoundment of their vehicle for up to one year.
Other consequences of a DUI conviction could include the completion of a court-ordered alcohol abuse program, a significant increase in insurance rates, or even insurance cancellation. Additionally, DUI convictions will also go on an individual's permanent criminal record and will show up in future background checks, which could affect future loan applications and more.
At Garretson & Toth, LLC, we understand how terrifying it can be for a parent to have their child arrested for an underage DUI. Due to the consequences he or she may face, it is vital that you act quickly to obtain legal representation. An experienced Olathe criminal attorney is your best defense against underage DUI charges and the penalties that go with them. Our firm has 60+ years of combined experience practicing law and helping individuals fight the DUI and other criminal charges they face. As former county prosecutors, we realize the impact an underage driver's irresponsible acts or momentary lapse in judgment could have on his or her future, and that is why we can be counted upon to be the aggressive advocate you and your child need.
If you or your child has been charged with an underage DUI offense in Kansas, it is important that you move quickly to enlist the help of our Johnson County DUI lawyer from Garretson & Toth, LLC. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could be looking at time behind bars. For this reason, we ask that you give us a call as soon as possible. Your initial consultation is free when you contact our firm at (913) 971-0296, so you have nothing to lose by taking the first step today.