My Kid Got a DUI. What Should I Do Now?No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, including teenagers. You can teach them right from wrong all you want, and they might still make the wrong decision when it comes to underage drinking and driving. As dangerous as this is, many teens still decide to drink at parties and then drive home.

If your teen is involved in an accident or pulled over by a police officer after drinking, the teen will be arrested on the spot. There is a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving, which means that if your teen had even just one drink, he or she will be placed under arrest for DUI in Knoxville.

Tennessee underage DUI penalties

If your teen has been arrested and charged with DUI in Tennessee, their charges will be levied based on the Drug Free Youth Act Offense (Ages 13 – 17) T.C.A. 55-10-701. The license suspension penalties are as follows:

  • Driver’s license is suspended for one year or until the offender reaches 17 for a first-time offender
  • Driver’s license is suspended for two years or until the offender reaches 18 for a second-time offender
  • A restricted license can be issued by the court for a first-time offender
  • A repeat offender must serve a one-year license suspension before a restricted license can be issued by the court

For driving while impaired (Age 16 – 20) T.C.A 55-10-415, the following penalties apply:

  • Revocation of the driver’s license for one year and no provision provided for a restricted license
  • A fine of $250
  • Community service could be imposed by the court

Will my child face long-term consequences for a DUI?

An underage DUI can impact the life of your teenager in more ways than the criminal penalties. Your teen might have to deal with any of the following:

  • Expulsion from school
  • School suspension
  • Not being allowed to participate in school functions (prom, homecoming, sports, or even graduation ceremonies)
  • Inability to obtain scholarships for college
  • Difficulty being accepted to colleges
  • Difficulty securing a job
  • Inability to obtain employment or have a social life without a valid driver’s license

The cost of a teenage DUI

The cost of a teenage DUI in Knoxville can climb into the thousands of dollars for both you and your teen. It’s important to note that parents can be held responsible for the damage caused by an accident in which your teen driver was under the influence. The same goes for any serious bodily injury caused by your underage and under the influence teen driver.

Some of the fees associated with an underage DUI include:

  • Attorney fees: First-time offenders could see fees of $8,500 and up.
  • Alcohol education courses: Teens charged with DUI might be ordered to take these classes, which can cost roughly $600.
  • Increase in insurance premiums: Your insurance premiums will increase as points will be assessed to their license for a period of 13 years and could cost them an additional $40,000 in premiums.
  • Repair costs/medical bills/towing: If the incident resulted in an accident, you and your teen could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in towing, repairs, and medical bills.

Can the underage DUI be expunged?

Nope. You cannot have a DUI conviction expunged, even if you were underage at the time of the incident. This means that you will need to disclose the DUI conviction on job applications, college applications, and maybe even an application to rent an apartment.

Was your underage teen arrested for suspicion of DUI? It’s in your best interest to consult with a Knoxville criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your teen is at-risk of losing their license, having to pay hefty fines, and even pay thousands of dollars in medical bills or repairs if the incident resulted in an accident. Call the office of Banks & Jones at 865-546-2141, or complete a contact form on our website to schedule a consultation.