Penalties for Substance Abuse Violations by Minors
For those people under the age of 21 in Utah, the law treats substance abuse particularly hard. Alcohol consumption for those over 21 years of age is legal but for those under 21 it is not. This should not be a surprise to anyone. Throughout the United States alcohol consumption is illegal for those under 21 years of age. What some people do not realize is that there are negative consequences that result in a alcohol violation by a minor besides possible fines and jail time. Utah law allows one’s driver’s license to be suspended for up to a year for the unlawful purchase, consumption, or possession of alcohol by a minor on a first offense. On a second violation of an alcohol offense, a minor’s driver’s license can be suspended for 2 years. A court can reduce the amount of time a minor’s license is suspended under certain circumstances. For those minors facing an alcohol violation, it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Provo to find out how their licenses can avoid suspension.
Drug Violations in Utah and Driver’s Licenses
In addition to suspending a minor’s license for an alcohol ticket, a minor’s license will also be suspended for a marijuana possession, other drug possession such as heroine, or possession of drug paraphernalia. It may not make sense for someone’s driver’s license to be suspended if it was not motor vehicle related but the Utah State legislature seems to believe it will help dissuade minors to not use drugs, especially marijuana. The problem with the law is that most people do not know their license will be affected by a drug violation.
Until recently, Utah courts were required to suspend the driver’s license of minors if they violated a drug possession or paraphernalia law. The law was recently amended in the 2015 legislative session and it went into effect in May 2015. The new law now allows courts to treat drug possession or paraphernalia violations similar to alcohol violations. Utah courts, including Utah juvenile courts, can reduce or eliminate the suspension of a minor’s driver’s license under certain criteria. A minor facing a drug possession or paraphernalia charge should contact a criminal defense lawyer in Provo immediately to find out if his or her driving privileges can be saved.
A Provo Criminal Defense Attorney May Be Able to Save Your License
If you are a minor and facing an alcohol or drug violation, contact an attorney from Provo criminal defense. A Provo criminal defense attorney can give you a free consultation over the phone and let you know if your driver’s license can be saved. Call 801-800-8246 to speak with an attorney today.