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Underage Drinking Leads to Host of Criminal Charges in Alabama

Alabama authorities are pushing the "Under Age, Under Arrest" campaign on college campuses, putting students and parents on notice about the potential legal consequences of irresponsible drinking.

AL.com reports the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is pushing the program as a means to reduce binge drinking and other irresponsible behavior associated with alcohol. However, increased emphasis usually results in an uptick in the number of those arrested and who, fairly or unfairly, must defend against the charges. The first presentation was made earlier this month at Miles College in Fairfield. Additional presentations are scheduled for the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Troy University, Jacksonville State and the University of South Alabama.1217438_bar

Hiring an underage drunk driving defense attorney in Birmingham is always the best course of action if facing a charge of driving while intoxicated, underage drinking or other criminal offense. Despite misdemeanor status, these offenses can follow a young person for years, will require disclosure on job applications, and may enhance the penalties for a second or subsequent conviction.

Underage DUI in Alabama can be charged when a motorist has a blood-alcohol content of just .02 percent, compared to the adult legal limit of .08. Yet the consequences may be even more serious, including driver's license suspension until 18th birthday or beyond. Public intoxication and minor in possession of alcohol are other possible criminal charges.

For those accused of furnishing alcohol to minors, the penalties can be much more serious, whether at a private home or while working as a store clerk, bartender or server. In addition to the criminal penalties, Alabama Dram Shop laws Alabama Code 6-5-70 may hold vendors and servers financially liable for serving alcohol to an intoxicated adult or minor who is involved in a serious or fatal traffic collision.

Facing criminal charges is an intimidating experience, particularly as a young person or college student. But whether you are convicted is what matters most when it comes to impacting your life. Common challenges in drunk driving cases include:

Breathalyzer results: While those who refuse a breath test may face an automatic suspension of their driver's license, it also denies the state a key piece of evidence used to secure a conviction in court. There are many ways to challenge the results of these breath tests, often resulting in a reduction or dismissal of the charges.

Field Sobriety Tests: You are not required to participate in field sobriety tests. At this point, it's probable the officer has already decided to place you under arrest and is gathering evidence to be used against you in court. At best, sobriety tests are a subjective measure of whether an officer believes you are intoxicated. Such opinions can be aggressively challenged in court.

Probable Cause: A police officer must have a valid reason for initiating a traffic stop. Probable cause must also exist to request that you perform field sobriety tests or submit to a breathalyzer. In cases where police respond to a dorm room or private residence, there may also be legal issues involved with whether evidence was legally gathered and obtained.

Contact Barclay Law at 866-584-1023 or visit https://www.jmbarclaylaw.com to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in Birmingham. Serving South Side, Titusville, Red Mountain, Woodlawn, Ensley and surrounding areas.

Don’t take chances with your future. Get the professional legal help you need now. Contact Barclay Law, LLC. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you get your life back on track. We proudly serve clients throughout the state of Alabama.

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