On Monday, Nov. 11, a teenager was convicted of underage DUI in a tragic car accident that left one woman dead. He has been sentenced to serve three years in prison. Underage DUI charges are taken very seriously in the state of Georgia because they come with the potential for harsher punishments than an equivalent DUI charge for an adult.
The punishment meted out against the young woman in this case was particularly severe; however, the prosecution initially asked for more. The Chief Assistant District Attorney requested that the woman be sentenced to five years in prison, with another 120 days served inside a probation detention center. The prosecution asked that she serve a final 10 years of probation.
Instead, the woman was sentenced to three years in prison, another year of house arrest with an ankle monitor bracelet, and 11 more years of probation. Although her defense attorney requested it, she will not be permitted to compete her current semester at college. During her probationary period, she will also be required to give an annual talk to teenagers about the dangers of underage DUI.
This case highlights the potential for stiff punishments associated with underage DUI. Georgia courts often punish people under the age of 21 more severely when they are convicted of DUI than people over the age of 21. For this reason, every case that involves a DUI charge against a teenage driver must be handled with the utmost care. Attention must be paid to every detail of the law and all the individual facts of the matter — especially if the case involves a charge of vehicular homicide.
Source: rockdalecitizen.com, Oxford teen sentenced in DUI fatality, Alice Queen, Nov. 11, 2013