In the state of Georgia, the bar for blood alcohol content or BAC is set at 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21.
If convicted of impaired driving, young drivers not only face court-imposed penalties and the delay of their graduated license but they may also face issues with college admission.
In addition to fees and any other court-ordered penalties, drivers younger than 21 face a delay of 12 months in obtaining a graduated license. The term “graduated” is a reference to the Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act, or TADRA. There are three phases: the learner’s permit, a Class D license for teens 16 to 18, and at age 18, a Class C license, at which time the state lifts all driving restrictions.
College admission issues
Young drivers who hope to attend college may run into roadblocks with a DUI mark on their record. A first offense is normally a misdemeanor. However, with a high BAC, or if the drunk driving incident results in either injury or death, the misdemeanor escalates to a felony. When performing a background check, a college representative may deny an applicant admission upon seeing a DUI conviction.
If a college applicant is honest about the DUI incident and shows a sincere desire to avoid drinking and driving, admission may still be possible. Leaving it out or failing to mention it could have an adverse effect. An admissions representative could find the lack of honesty more troubling than the DUI incident itself.
A well-prepared defense strategy focuses on protecting the rights of underage drivers charged with DUI so they can pursue future goals such as earning a Class C license and entering the college of their choice.