As MYNorthwest.com reports, a recent car crash in the Seattle/Tacoma area saw four people transported to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries. While it appears the crash occurred when one driver ran a red light, it is also believed that the driver of one of the vehicles was under the influence of alcohol.
Drunk drivers cause numerous car crashes every year, and for this reason, every state in the country has strict penalties if you are caught operating a vehicle under the influence. Perhaps what makes this case even more troubling is that the driver was under the drinking age. For drivers out there under 21, you can be arrested for a DUI if you are found with a blood-alcohol content of .02%, well under the normal limit for of-age drivers of .08%.
Unfortunately, in the case of this particular crash, the driver suspected of being under the influence was only 15 years old. While investigators did not release much in the way of information, they did confirm she was illegally driving the vehicle, as well.
This incident may turn out the way many underage DUI cases do: with multiple charges against the accused. The young woman may not only face charges of driving under the influence but potentially underage DUI charges, as well as driving without a license. It is possible she was operating the vehicle without permission at the time, which could be considered auto theft or joyriding. If she were found to be in possession of alcohol, or if she endangered any other minors, these would also be considered aggravating factors that could result in additional charges.
For minors, a first DUI conviction can mean imprisonment of up to a year in extreme cases, a large fine of up to $5,000, and a license suspension. If she is found to have been unlicensed, she will lose the ability to pursue her license at the very least until she is 17 years old, and will have an additional fine attached.
If you or someone you know is facing a complicated DUI charge, like the one described in the above case here, I invite you to call my firm today. My name is Jonathan Dichter and I am an award-winning Lynnwood DUI defense lawyer. My firm is an accredited business by the Better Business Bureau, and I have a 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating, making me one of the most trusted DUI attorneys in the region. I have also been named to the 2014 and 2015 WashingtonSuper Lawyers®list of Rising StarsSM for my work in this practice area.
If you or someone you know needs assistance with a DUI case, including underage DUI cases, call me at the Dichter Law Office at (425) 296-9358 today to request a free case evaluation.