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Can Minors Lose Their License for Acts Not Committed While Driving?

 Posted on December 02,2020 in Criminal Defense

Knox County criminal defense attorney drug possession

If you are a parent, you know that it is far from uncommon for teens to push the limits. Their desire for independence can lead them to defy your rules, any regulations set by their high school, and even legal limits that apply to all Americans. Testing the limits is not always a bad thing, but when drugs and alcohol are involved, things can quickly take a turn for the worse. For those who are at the legal drinking age, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent. For those under 21, Tennessee law enforcement has no tolerance for a BAC over zero. Unfortunately, many teens will get behind the wheel after drinking or doing drugs, assuming that they are OK to drive, but then they end up facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges. Such penalties often lead to losing your driver’s license, but what about other drug or alcohol violations that were not committed while driving?

Drug Free Youth Act Offenses

For those between the ages of 13 and 17, the Tennessee Drug Free Youth Act allows a court to limit your driving privileges if the minor faces any form of drug charges—even those not committed while driving. This includes any criminal offenses, violations, status offenses, or infractions that involve the possession, sale, use, or consumption of any controlled substance. The severity of the penalties correlates with the number of offenses that the minor has on his or her record.

  • For those charged with a first offense, their license may be suspended for up to one year or until the minor reaches the age of 17 (whichever is longer). After serving 90 days, they may apply for early suspension withdrawal. The court may also decide to give them a more lenient penalty by issuing a restricted license depending on the minor’s past with law enforcement.

  • For those charged with a second offense, their license may be suspended for up to two years or until the minor reaches the age of 18 (whichever is longer). After serving one year, they may apply for early suspension withdrawal.

Alcohol Offenses

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 is not allowed to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol of any kind. If a minor is found guilty of this penalty, he or she can face the same driving restrictions as those outlined above under the Drug Free Youth Act, including the possibility of a restricted license rather than a suspended one. If, however, the underage young adult is found driving under the influence (DUI), his or her license will be revoked for one year with no opportunity for a restricted license. They will also face a $250 fine and possible public service work. Alcohol offenses of any kind can deeply damage a teen’s criminal record and risk him or her losing future educational and employment opportunities

Contact a Knoxville, TN Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer

Obtaining a criminal record at a young age can often make it difficult for your child to diverge from this path as he or she gets older. For minors who are facing drug or alcohol offenses of any kind, it is important to work with a reputable criminal defense attorney who can help guide you through the legal process and attempt to reduce your charges. Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, builds a strong defense strategy for all of his clients, especially those who are under the age of 21. Our firm understands the importance of a second chance, and we are here to make that happen. For help with your case, contact our accomplished Knox County juvenile criminal defense attorney at 865-281-1000 to schedule a free consultation.



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