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Minor Operating Motor Vehicle Over .02

The charge of Minor Operating a Motor Vehicle Over .02 is often very confusing for minors and their parents. It is often misunderstood that this charge is the same as a DUI, and that the "legal limit" for minors is .02. However, this offense is a separate offense from DUI. If a minor is truly under the influence, he or she will be charged with DUI. If a minor is not intoxicated but has a breath or blood alcohol level over .02, he or she will be charged with Minor Operating a Motor Vehicle Over .02.

This offense is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 90 days, and a $1000 fine. A conviction for Minor Operating Motor Vehicle Over .02 brings a license suspension, and a requirement for SR-22 or "high risk" insurance. The offense is sometimes referred to as "Minor DUI," "Minor Op" or sometimes facetiously as "Baby DUI."

Criminal Defense Lawyer

A charge of Minor Operating Motor Vehicle Over .02 usually starts as a traffic stop for some sort of moving violation such as speeding or failure to use turn signal. If the officer has probable cause to believe a minor has consumed alcohol, he or she can request a breath sample. If the sample is refused, a minor can lose his or her license for one year. The breath sample is usually given on a BAC Instrument at the police station.

The portable breath test that the police keep in their cars is not admissible in court because it is not scientifically reliable. A criminal defense lawyer usually fights the case by challenging the probable cause for arrest, or by challenging the admissibility of the breath test results. There are strict rules the police have to follow in order to have a breath test admitted into court. Charges of Minor Operating a Motor Vehicle Over .02 are sent through District Court. A minor will only go through juvenile court if he or she is 15 years or younger.

Punishments for Minor Operating Motor Vehicle Over .02

In Washington State, if someone is convicted of Minor Operating Motor Vehicle Over .02, the judge will usually order that they obtain an alcohol / drug evaluation to make sure they are not chemically dependent. Defendants are often put on probation for a year. For more information the court system, see our page on underage drinking.

Free Consultation:

If you want to discuss your case with us (or the case of your son or daughter), please call. Steve Graham does free consultations on criminal matters in eastern Washington. You will receive my honest opinion and I will listen to you and answer your questions.

For more information, see our DUI Frequently Asked Questions or call (509) 252-9167 today