DUI for Drivers Under 21 in Anne Arundel County
Someone under 21 will actually be charged exactly the same for an Anne Arundel DUI as if the individual is over 21 with the additional charge of violating a license restriction for those individuals that are under the age of 21. All drivers under 21 in Maryland automatically have an alcohol restriction placed on their driver’s license. That restriction says that they cannot have any measurable amount of alcohol in their blood stream while operating a motor vehicle.
Even if an individual submits to a breathalyzer test with a .04 of alcohol content, that would create a presumption of sobriety in regards to a DUI or DWI charge. However, that would be sufficient to show that someone had in fact violated a license restriction.
Additionally, if an individual refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test when requested by law enforcement, then that is an independent basis for a violation of the license restriction. DUI charges for people under 21 are going to be exactly the same and they are also going to be facing that additional violation of license restriction criminal charge. Some of the penalties at the MVA will be harsher if the individual is under 21.
Laws for Drivers Under 21
BAC factors are exactly the same. The charges of DUI, DUI per se, and DWI are going to be absolutely identical whether an individual is 20 or 22. The only additional factor for under-21 drivers is going to be that license restriction violation that we talked about previously.
What to Expect in Court
If someone is under the age of 21 but over 18, the case is native to the district court and the individual will be tried in front of the judge. If an individual wishes to have trial in front of a jury, then that person can ask for that and have the case transferred to the circuit court.
The procedures for individuals under 21 and over 21 are exactly the same and the venue for those under 21 and over 21 are exactly the same. Cases will be heard in the same court before the same judges and are usually under the same dockets. Someone may have a docket that has both over 21 and under 21 drivers for the DUIs.
Sentencing for Drivers Under 21
In terms of sentencing, I do not notice any significant difference between over 21 and under 21 other than the level of supervision of probation. I find that most judges who are willing to give unsupervised probations to adult DUI drivers are unwilling to give unsupervised probation to drivers who are under 21.
If someone is under 21, most judges are going to place that person on a period of supervised probation rather than unsupervised probation. The theory there is that individual is so young and is still new to driving, so another DUI means that individual needs some type of supervision above and beyond what they might have imposed on an adult.
Information for Parents
Right from beginning, they should be aware of two things. An attorney is going to give a lot of case-specific advice for an individual, based on the facts and circumstances of their case. While reading this online interview with me can be helpful, none of that is going to be comparable to having a one-on-one consultation with a qualified attorney.
In terms of parents’ expectations of this process, they should expect that they will get a court date and the period of that court date can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some locations, one’s first court date will be nearly a month after the incident and in other jurisdictions it can take six months.
Then there is also going to be separate independent driver’s license penalties that the parents should be aware of. Just because their child is going to court does not mean that is the only thing going on with the case. There may be other things going on with the license, which they need to address and this is highly independent of the court case.
Information for Students
That is going to vary from university to university. Different universities have different policies regarding students charged with crimes. There is really no one size fits all.
Sometimes the university finds out, and sometimes it does not. Again, it is really going to depend on the facts and circumstances of the case.
For example, if the university police arrested the individual on campus, then it is extremely likely the university is aware of the facts.
If the individual was arrested out of state from where they go to university—say someone is a Maryland resident but is studying at the University of California and gets a DUI in Maryland, it is unlikely that the university in California will find out or vice versa. It really does depend on the individual facts of the case and the university’s policies.
As I said before, there is really no typical way. Every university handles it differently. Some universities won’t take any action at all, and other universities may try to suspend the individual student’s status or even expel the student from the university. It really does depend and there is a wide variation between the different institutions.
There generally will be a hearing process before any kind of formal sanction. That is also going to vary significantly from one university to another university.