Most people in Louisiana may be aware that the drinking age in the state is 21-years-old. People under that age may face alcohol-related offenses in a wide variety of situations, ranging from events surrounding a college party to underage drinking and driving. Generally, an underage driver may face charges for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol based upon a very small alcohol level.
But, people under the age of 21 may also face charges for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated under the state’s general OWI (or DWI) statute setting the legal limit at 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration, which carries more strict sentencing provisions.
A 19-year-old man was arrested recently on suspicion of drunk driving and other offenses after he allegedly was involved in a hit-and-run crash on Interstate 10 early Sunday morning. Louisiana State Police claim that the victim of the alleged crash followed the young man as he allegedly fled the scene.
A trooper responded to the area and says that he attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Law enforcement claims that the young man turned around in a parking lot, drove past the trooper and continued on his way.
Officials say that the teen eventually pulled over and was taken into custody. Troopers say that the man smelled of alcohol and was later subjected to a DWI chemical test. Authorities say that the teen measured 0.10 percent, above the DWI limit of 0.08 percent. Police also claim that the man has a prior DWI.
He is now accused of DWI-second offense, which carries enhanced potential penalties upon conviction. He was taken to the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and processed on a string of charges. His bond was set at $3,500.
Any underage DUI or more traditional DWI charge in Louisiana can bring harsh consequences. When the stakes are raised based upon allegations of a repeat offense (or when a string of charges are attached to a DWI charge) the potential consequences can be increased as well.
Source: Fox 44 WGMB Baton Rouge, “9-year-old arrested for second DWI after hit-and-run crash on I-10,” Samantha Morgan, July 22, 2013