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Crash leads to underage drinking allegation for Tennessee teen

DUI charges are often handled differently in juvenile and criminal courts here in Tennessee. However, what if the person accused of underage drinking is a legal adult? A 19-year-old woman who was recently involved in a serious single-vehicle crash could face severe criminal penalties if she is convicted. Following the Feb. 9 accident, she has been charged with underage consumption, DUI and vehicular assault.

According to reports, the woman was driving an Oldsmobile at around 1 a.m. when she lost control on Interstate 40. The vehicle crashed through a guard rail and rolled multiple times. A 19-year-old man, who was a passenger in the Oldsmobile, had to be taken by medical flight to Vanderbilt Hospital with serious injuries. The driver was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Highway Patrol indicated that either drugs or alcohol appeared to be a factor in the crash. State troopers in the Critical Incident Response Team and the Criminal Investigation Division are working to piece together the details of the accident. In addition, Mt. Juliet police are assisting with the crash investigation.

Depending on the situation, underage drinking may carry the same consequences as a standard DUI. In addition to having a permanent record, a convicted individual may serve jail time, pay hefty fines and lose his or her driving privileges. In this case, the accused woman may find it helpful to seek a legal representative with an understanding of Tennessee's DUI laws who can help her determine the best defense against the charges and protect her rights in court.

Source: mtjulietnews.com, Car crashes through guardrail, rolls; Two people transported to hospital, Laurie Everett, Feb. 13, 2014

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