Indiana law treats OWI charges with underage drinking differently than they do adults. For adults, the legal limit in Indiana is .08 BAC. However, since people under the age of 21 legally are not allowed to even drink, OWI laws are applied differently. Those under the age of 21 can be charged with underage OWI while having much lower BAC levels. A minor could potentially be charged with OWI, while having a BAC as low as .02.
While an OWI is considered an adult charge, minors under the age of 18 could be charged in juvenile court, which applies different laws and sentences, as opposed to adult court. While those under 18 may benefit from having their case heard in juvenile court, a much worse situation occurs for those charged with OWI that are over 18 but still under the age of 21. In that scenario, the accused could be facing the worst of both worlds: charged in adult court and facing not only adult sentences but could be facing additional punishments and suspensions due to their being underage.
Prior to resolving this type of of underage drinking case, it is important to understand all the additional consequences above and beyond the basic criminal sentence. While some minors may still be living with their parents, there could be negatives that affect the parents indirectly, from simple requirements as not being allowed to have alcohol in the house, to having to drive their child all around due to the child not having the ability to drive.
Call Suhre & Associates, LLC to find out all the relevant information before making any decisions.