Driving under the influence has severe consequences regardless of where you come from. While the penalties for DUI are harsh, they are more severe for minors who are caught drinking and driving. When faced with drunk driving and underage drinking charge, it would be wise to consult a professional attorney who will represent you in a court of law and ensure you serve as little jail time as possible. This article shares information on underage drinking and the penalties involved.
What Constitutes Underage Drinking?
A person has to be 21 or older to legally take alcohol in the United States. Police officers are allowed to use breathalyzers to determine a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). For people aged 21 and above, BAC limits of 0.08% will be enough to get you into trouble with the law. However, for underage drinkers, BAC limits as low as 0.02% will get you arrested and dealt with harshly. This is because the law assumes that underage people shouldn’t drink in the first place. While these laws vary as you move from one state to the other, underage drivers should adhere to a strict BAC limit of 0.02%.
In some states, these laws are stricter, and an individual driving with a BAC other than 0.000% will be arrested for driving under the influence. This is referred to as “Zero Tolerance Policy” and aims at discouraging minors from consuming alcohol until they are of legal age.
Penalties For Drinking Under the Age of 21
Depending on the BAC limit in various regions, drivers face some strict penalties for underage drinking and driving. In some states, first time underage DUI offenders face fines as high as $2,000. Offenders may also lose their driver’s license and even spend up to 12 months in jail. This is assuming that no one was injured as a result of this offense.
Those who are caught acquiring alcohol that is to be consumed by minors also faces tough penalties. This means that if an of-age person buys alcohol and serves it to minors; they two can be found guilty of a crime and punished by law.
The first thing to do after an underage drinking arrest is to find a qualified attorney to help you with the case. Having someone that understands the laws that govern DUI on your side goes a long way towards ensuring you retain your license and serve little or no time in jail. It is important that you go for an attorney who is familiar with your state laws so as to improve your winning chances. Your can visit the Law Firm Media Blog home page for a list of attorneys in your state.
Driving while intoxicated has never been a good idea no matter how old one is. To avoid trouble with the law and to keep yourself safe from accidents, you’d be wise to stay away from alcohol while you drive.