If your teenager chose to get behind the wheel of their car impaired, you need to get your son or daughter the best legal representation possible. Although you may be mad at them for the choices they made, everyone makes mistakes - especially teens who are trying to prove something to someone else or themselves.

If your teen was pulled over for underage drinking and driving in Virginia, do not let their mistake or lapse in judgment result in serious consequences for them down the road. It is critical that you hire an experienced northern Virginia drunk driving defense attorney to help protect your child's future.

On July 1, 2011, harsher penalties went into effect for underage drinking and driving. The state of Virginia will now have a zero tolerance policy for underage drunk drivers, which means that anyone under the age of 21 that is caught with a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or higher is subject to severe penalties.

The new penalties for underage drunk drivers in Virginia include:

  • $500 fine or 50 hours of community service
  • One year driver's license suspension
  • Class 1 misdemeanor 

Virginia now has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in this country, and anyone who is pulled over and arrested for a DUI in Virginia should call an experienced Manassas DUI defense attorney. For anyone not familiar with Virginia's drunk driving laws and penalties, it is wise to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney for your legal case so that your penalties will be lessened as much as possible.

Virginia code section for underage DUI § 18.2-266.1

A. It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to operate any motor vehicle after illegally consuming alcohol. Any such person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.02 grams or more per 210 liters of breath but less than 0.08 by weight by volume or less than 0.08 grams per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article shall be in violation of this section.

B. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Punishment shall include (i) forfeiture of such person's license to operate a motor vehicle for a period of one year from the date of conviction and (ii) a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or performance of a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service. This suspension period shall be in addition to the suspension period provided under § 46.2-391.2. The penalties and license forfeiture provisions set forth in §§ 16.1-278.9, 18.2-270 and 18.2-271 shall not apply to a violation of this section. Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be eligible to attend an Alcohol Safety Action Program under the provisions of § 18.2-271.1 and may, in the discretion of the court, be issued a restricted license during the term of license suspension.

C. Notwithstanding §§ 16.1-278.8 and 16.1-278.9, upon adjudicating a juvenile delinquent based upon a violation of this section, the juvenile and domestic relations district court shall order disposition as provided in subsection B.