If a teen has been drinking when pulled over, are they immediately considered formally arrested?

Yes.With our county, we have 50 some police departments and they all do things a little bit differently, but ordinarily what would happen is that they would be taken into custody.  They would either be given a breathalyzer or blood would be taken to determine if they are under the influence or not.

And the level of that is sometimes used in court to determine what should happen.  Someone who had one or two beers and who really isn’t inebriated would get a different sort of circumstance than someone who blows a 2.0 or whatever and is really a danger kind of circumstance.

Each department would act differently, but ordinarily they would be taken to the station.  They’d be tested and their parents would be called to come pick up the child, and then they would be petitioned to court.

Now the other thing is that PennDOT would be involved also.  When the kids come to court, if they’re adjudicated or found guilty of these charges, PennDOT automatically revokes their license and the length of revocation in some cases depends on the level of intoxication, but it always happens.

The interesting thing with this is that oftentimes these kids are one-time offenders, learn their lesson and go on their way and we certainly don’t want to burden them with any kind of record.  So they can have their arrest record expunged at a certain point, just erased.

But the part that doesn’t get erased is the part at PennDOT.  They don’t recognize the expungement procedures and they keep that record forever. So the scariest part of a DUI for a child is that no matter what he does, he can’t erase that from his permanent record.