Underage Drinking

Drinking on Prom nightThe beaches of Delaware offer ample opportunities for fun and entertainment — and ample opportunities for trouble like underage drinking. At the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay, we provide skilled legal representation for a wide range of criminal offenses, including underage drunk driving, consumption, and possession.

In the United States, you must be 21 years of age to legally purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. The legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content while operating an automobile is .08% in Delaware and the United States. 

However, if you are caught drinking and driving under the age of 21, you face Delaware’s very strict mandatory laws. Delaware law carries very severe legal and administrative penalties for juvenile DUI arrests.

Penalties for a DUI include fines, fees, and license suspension. Additionally, you may be subject to your school or institution’s administrative penalties for underage drinking or driving under the influence.

If you face drinking and driving charges in Delaware, you should consult with our experienced Juvenile DUI Defense Attorneys immediately. Call the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay at 302-855-9300 or, email us.

Julianne E. Murray and Ronald D. Phillips, Jr. have many years experience handling Juvenile Crimes & Underage DUI cases in Delaware.

Learn What to Do if You are Pulled Over for a DUI in Delaware

Delaware Underage Drinking Defense Lawyer

Underage DrinkingHigh School Prom season is dangerous in Delaware. Statistics show roughly a third of alcohol-related teen traffic fatalities occur between April and June, peak prom season.

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, over 35,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015. Of that, teen drivers and passengers account for 25 percent of those deaths every year. 

Vehicle accidents remain the number one cause of death for young people aged 12 to 19. Prom night can be a dangerous time with so many teens on the road late at night. Approximately 1,000 youth under age 21 die each year in preventable tragedies while celebrating their high school proms and graduations (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While spring is the hallmark of many teen celebrations (graduation and prom), it can also be a very dangerous time in a teen’s life.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the months of April through June are some of the most dangerous times of the year for teens. Approximately one-third of alcohol-related traffic fatalities involving teens occur between these months. -RAYCHELLE LOHMANN

Parents, please make sure your teens are safe. Advise them not get behind the wheel if they have been drinking. More importantly, teach them not to get in the car with someone who has been drinking too. A teenager arrested for driving under the influence is a life-changing event. We at the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay strive to limit the negative consequences on your child’s future.

Keeping Your Child Out of the Criminal Justice System

underage drinking

Delaware has very strict mandatory laws for those under 21.

One of the problems with the justice system is that it tends to treat all people alike, rather than considering a child’s individual circumstances. It often offers harsh penalties for relatively minor offenses. For example, if your child commits a technical violation of probation while going through a state counseling program, he or she can end up back before a judge and face severe consequences.

As your child’s lawyers, we will work diligently to prevent allegations of underage drunk driving or underage consumption from turning into a conviction or an adjudication of juvenile delinquency. We bring a realistic approach to criminal defense representation. We work to reach the best resolution while minimizing the long-term consequences of the charges.

Understanding the Consequences of Underage Drinking

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All the time we hear, “I didn’t know the consequences of a DUI underage.” Not knowing how serious the consequences are can put your child at higher risk.

In Delaware, you must be 21 years of age to legally purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. If you are caught drinking and driving while under the age of 21, you should know that Delaware has very strict mandatory laws. These penalties include fines, fees, and license suspension. In addition, you may also be subject to your school, college, university or institution’s administrative penalties.

For a first-time offender, the consequences for underage drinking or underage drunk driving include license suspension and extensive fines. However, these criminal consequences may seem relatively minor when compared to the full spectrum of consequences.

These days, colleges and employers are routinely examining criminal records when making admissions and hiring decisions. A criminal conviction may adversely affect a child’s future opportunities well beyond the length of the sentence.

Additionally, alcohol offenses come with enhanced penalties for multiple convictions. Many kids are caught drinking underage when they come down to Delaware’s beaches before they head off to college.

Often times, those accused of underage drunk driving or underage drinking at 17 or 18 will continue to drink before they reach 21, running the risk of these enhanced penalties. As criminal defense lawyers, we work to reduce the impact of any future charges by avoiding an initial conviction.

Juvenile DUI Defense

Don't Drink and Drive at PromOnce convicted of an Underage Driving Under The Influence charge in Delaware the penalties are mandatory and non-negotiable. A very sound strategy may be attempting to have your case dismissed for various reasons.

A dismissal is your best chance of avoiding the consequences of a DUI. First of all, a dismissal will guarantee you avoid jail time and fines. Also, a dismissal will wipe the DUI charges from your record.

They may argue many possible reasons to dismiss the case. Your lawyer may determine and argue to dismiss your charges on the following grounds:

  • No probable cause to stop the driver.
  • Improperly administered or calibrated breathalyzer test.
  • Not enough evidence to charge the juvenile with a DUI.

Your child’s future is on the line. Trust a qualified Delaware Underage DUI Lawyer to help with your child’s defense.

Attorney Consultation

If your child has been accused of underage drinking or DUI, we would like to meet with you and your child in person to discuss your case. To schedule a free initial consultation at our office in Georgetown, please call 302-855-9300 for our Dover or Wilmington office, please call 302-697-2499. Or contact us via email.

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