Raising a teenager comes with many challenges, from school to relationships. One challenge you do not want to face as a parent is your teen driving while drunk. If it does happen, and your son or daughter has a DUI charge, you may have many questions about how it will affect your teen’s future.

You may worry that a DUI conviction will make it difficult for your child to apply for college or employment. You may be worried your teen is on a slippery slope, or maybe this incident came as a complete surprise. No matter the circumstances, it is important to know what a first-time DUI will mean for your teen.

South Dakota law on underage drinking and driving

For those under the age of 21, the blood alcohol limit is 0.02 percent, whereas it is 0.08 percent for adults. If the police pull over your teen and he or she refuses to take a BAC test, the law requires a license revocation. However, if your teen pleads guilty to DUI, license revocation does not apply. If your teen had a BAC over 0.08 percent, the penalties will be the same as they are for adults, which is a maximum jail time of one year, maximum fine of $1,000 or both.

Consequences of a DUI

Underage DUI is a Class 2 misdemeanor in South Dakota. The penalty will be a suspension or restriction of driving privileges for at least 30 days but for no more than a year. There is the possibility that the court will allow your teen to drive to school, work and mandated counseling if applicable. Your teen may have to complete community service and face academic discipline if in school. Your auto insurance costs are likely to go up significantly as well.

The best thing you can do to prevent a conviction and its far-reaching consequences is to call a criminal defense attorney with experience in underage drinking and driving. Speak to a lawyer today to get back your teen’s future.