When you drop your child off at college, you know that the time he or she spends there can shape his or her future. Unfortunately, some college kids, in an attempt to enjoy their newfound freedom, make mistakes that could derail their college plans and affect them on various levels for years to come.

For example, if your child was recently arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, the consequences associated with a DUI conviction can be significant.

Under the age of 21

The state of Tennessee has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking. If your child is under the age of 21 and he or she is found even slightly intoxicated, an arrest and DUI charge is not out of the question. The penalties for underage drinking are as follows:

  • License revocation for one year
  • Community service
  • Fine of $250

These are the minimum penalties. If your child has multiple offenses on his or her record, or if he or she was involved in a crash that caused bodily injury or death, the penalties are far more severe if convicted.

Over the age of 21

If your child is over the age of 21, standard DUI laws apply to his or her case. This means that law enforcement must see a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or visible signs of impairment to make an arrest. If convicted, penalties may include:

  • First offense: Jail time, fines up to $1,500, license revocation and participation in a treatment program
  • Second offense: Jail time up to one year, fine up to $3,500, license revocation up to two years, treatment program or ignition interlock device installation on vehicle
  • Third offense: Jail time, fine up to $10,000, license revocation up to 10 years, treatment program

Any subsequent offenses are punishable by increased fines and jail time. Enhanced penalties may apply if one causes an accident resulting in injury or death, or if one drives drunk with minors in the vehicle.

Fight the charges

A DUI conviction can result in your child missing out on school. It can cause him or her trouble finding employment. In short, it can put a significant damper on any of his or her future prospects. Therefore, fighting a DUI charge is a must. With assistance, you can figure out the best way to go about doing just that.