What can underage drivers be charged with in the state of MI if they are caught drinking and driving?
As is the case with many states, there is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underage drivers and bodily alcohol content. What does “zero tolerance” mean exactly? Zero tolerance means that if a minor registers a level of .02-.07 BAC while operating a motor vehicle in MI, they may receive a Minor BAC charge.
This is not a formal DUI charge, but rather a noted form of drunk driving that goes on minors’ records until they turn 21. Once they turn 21, then this charge cannot be used to demonstrate, for
instance, that a person is a repeat DUI offender. However, if a minor registers over .07 BAC while driving in Michigan, then there is a high likelihood that that person will be charged with adult OWI, which carries with it significantly heavier penalties, and can serve as evidence of a repeat OWI offender.
In terms of defense, fortunately, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor. The barrier to proof is notable; a prosecutor must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a minor was operating a vehicle
while under the influence of alcohol. This is the highest possible burden of proof for such cases, as these charges can result in the deprivation of liberties. An experienced attorney can use this high
evidentiary standard to the benefit of a person charged with a minor BAC.
If the event of an arrest, you’ll need to seek out a specialist in bail bonds.