Here in Kansas City, there are key differences between prosecution, charges and penalties an individual over the legal drinking age of 21 will face and the ones an individual under the age of 21 will face.
Drivers over the age of 21 are considered to be driving under the influence if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or more. Probable cause must be established before a driver can be arrested and charged with DUI. If an officer sees a driver make a traffic violation, he or she has the right to pull that driver over. If the officer develops additional reasonable suspicion, he may conduct a series of field sobriety tests or use a breathalyzer to determine whether the driver is under the influence. Upon a driver's arrest -- additional blood, breath, urine or other chemical tests can be done to try and determine the driver's BAC level at the time of arrest. Penalties for a 1st time DUI offense can include up to 6 months in jail, fines and court costs totaling between $750 and $1200, a mandatory driver's license suspension and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). If you are facing 1st time DUI charges contact our office so we can help you determine whether entering a plea, going to trial or opting for diversion, or an SIS, will be in your best interests.
Both Missouri and Kansas have a very low tolerance for underage drinking and DUI investigations. To arrest and charge a driver under the age of 21 with DUI, an officer simply needs to have cause to believe the minor may be intoxicated. In these types of DUI cases, if the arresting officer smells alcohol on the minor's breath or sees alcoholic beverage containers in the vehicle that may be enough to justify an under 21 DUI charge. A BAC level between 0.02% and 0.08% may lead to charges in Missouri and even in Kansas. The penalty for a 1st offense on this type of DUI is a license suspension. Additional penalties including fines and jail time will also be imposed if the minor driver's BAC level is above 0.08%.
If your child has been arrested for an under 21 DUI, Kansas City DUI attorney Paul W. Burmaster may be able to help. Attorney Burmaster is a seasoned DUI attorney with a long track record of helping clients fight DUI and DUI-related charges. He has 20 years experience practicing law, he was awarded the 2012 Clients' Choice Award for DUI cases and he has handled in excess of 40 jury trials and 300 bench trials. Fighting these types of charges is not always easy. That's why you need an aggressive advocate on your side who is as determined as you are to see that your child is cleared of all charges. To get started, call our firm today or fill out a
free case evaluation so that we can review the charges and advise you of the options available for your child's defense.