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The Far-reaching Consequences of an Underage DUI

Drinking and driving can have devastating consequences, including death or serious injury. If an underage driver is lucky enough to avoid these scenarios, he or she could still be hit with serious repercussions lasting well into adulthood.

Zero Tolerance DUI Laws in Kansas

Kansas has a zero tolerance law when it comes to underage drinking and driving. Persons under age 21 caught driving with a blood alcohol level between 0.02 and 0.08 may see their license suspended for 30 days and restricted for nearly a year. Minors with blood alcohol levels at or above 0.08 may have their license suspended for 30 days, followed by required use of an ignition interlock device (breathalyzer) to measure blood alcohol level before driving for the following six months. Minors driving with blood alcohol levels above 0.150 may have their license suspended for a year, then be required to use an ignition interlock device for another year.

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Minors who refuse the breathalyzer test may have their licenses suspended for a year. It’s also important for minors between the ages of 14 and 18 to know that they will be tried as adults—not as juveniles—for traffic offenses related to underage drinking and driving in Kansas.

The Far-reaching Consequences of a DUI

In addition to the risk of injuring or killing themselves or someone else, young adults could be hit with jail time, fines, and community service. While these penalties only last for so long, underage DUIs can impact virtually any part of one’s life for many years to come in unexpected ways:

  • College applications. Many specifically ask if the applicant has been convicted of a crime. An underage DUI conviction probably won’t automatically disqualify someone from admission, but it may be taken into consideration.

  • Scholarships and Financial aid. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)—what students fill out to apply for federal financial aid—doesn’t specifically ask about DUI charges, but private colleges, scholarships, and lenders may ask and take this information into consideration.

  • Career opportunities. When an underage DUI is considered a criminal offense, it could show up on background checks performed by prospective employers. It probably wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for many employers, especially if it was years ago, but it’s something for young people to be aware of.

Learn More About Ignition Interlock Devices

If you’ve been ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, LifeSafer of Kansas can help. We install easy-to-use breathalyzer systems designed to keep unsafe drivers off the road and help those who comply get their driving privileges back. To learn more about installing your device at one of our partner locations, call LifeSafer of Kansas at 620-663-3000.

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