Reviewing a Recent Las Vegas Underage DUI Case
The State of Nevada strictly adheres to a policy of aggressive prosecution of DUI-related cases. Being the home of one of the busiest and most vibrant locations in the world, Nevada aims to minimize any serious incidents caused by drivers drunk and intoxicated after a night spent in Las Vegas. The lower number of DUI cases in Las Vegas in recent years show a sign of moderate success in their efforts, although every once in a while an incident pops up that shows there are people who still do not follow regulations.
The recent incident involving a 19-year old man suspected to be driving under the influence comes to mind. Believed to be driving impaired, his vehicle crashed with another, killing one and injuring five others in the other vehicle. He now faces a conviction of DUI leading to death, as well as a charges for beating a red light and driving without a license. The incident stands as a reminder regarding DUI cases involving minors in Las Vegas.
A Reminder of Consequences
Underage drivers in Nevada are subjected to the same charges and penalties as legal-aged DUI defendants. That means that they can receive penalties like revocation of licenses, heavy fines, prison time, community service and a possible revocation of vehicle registration. Underage defendants, however, face the additional penalty of going through an evaluation program for substance abuse should they be found guilty.
The last part is an important aspect to remember for any juvenile individual who may be tempted to try driving while impaired by an intoxicating substance. The offending minor will not only spend an extended period of time in an institution should it be found out that he or she has a history of substance abuse; his or her attempts to apply for a new student driver’s license, if it was issued, will be consistently denied for a certain amount of time.
Analyzing the Case
The defendant for the aforementioned case has quite the trial ahead of him. He is dealing with a combination of a traffic offense, an unlicensed traffic offense, and a DUI charge that led to a death and several serious injuries. Both traffic-related cases, while minor, can still hurt him financially, especially if he is still a student. The DUI charge, however, will cause serious repercussions that will affect him later in his life if he gets convicted.
His case has a few drawbacks that can weaken his defense. On-site witnesses and first responders noted the defendant exhibited signs of impairment throughout the incident, and the signs were still visible even after he was booked. Even if he avoids a DUI conviction, the possibility of being booked for homicide due to reckless driving can still carry the same weight as a DUI charge. These, combined with his age, can easily weaken any attempts to gain an acquittal or at least a reduced sentence for the defendant.
Avoiding the Hot Water
As mentioned earlier, DUI charges for underage offenders carry the full weight of a standard DUI charge, with the addition of mandatory checks for substance abuse. In some cases, the defendant will have to fork over a sum of his or her money to help fund this mandatory check, something that he or she may have to request from a guardian. Outside of the long-term effects on the person’s life, the immediate financial effects it can have on the defendant and his or her family can be dire.
The best way to avoid an underage DUI conviction is to not get behind the wheel when under the influence in the first place. It also helps if the teen driver has a responsible adult to entrust the vehicle to should they be impaired by certain substances (for example, cold syrups which can induce drowsiness). Said adult guardian can also help avoid DUI charges against the defendant in the event that they figure into an accident or are questioned by police.
Avoiding a possible underage DUI conviction may not be easy, especially with the case mentioned above, but as long as the defendant knows that he or she was in the right, he or she has a higher chance of getting the charges dismissed or lowered. Always seek out the help of a veteran DUI lawyer to further strengthen the defense and increase the chances of a dismissal.