An underage DUI can be a harrowing experience for both parents and the individual charged. As a parent or driver, you may be wondering what will happen next, what will the short-term and long-range consequences entail, and how to handle the situation. At The Wilson Law Firm, we understand your fears and concerns. Our firm handles DUI charges of all kinds every day, from those involving underage drivers to adult drivers and commercially licensed drivers. We know the laws, procedures, science, and other complex issues that may be involved in any DUI case and can explore all legal avenues to help you come out the other side with as little damage as possible.
Our attorney team has decades of experience in defending Virginia DUI charges across the state. We are trained and certified on how to conduct standardized field sobriety tests as well as how to operate the Breathalyzer machine used by Virginia law enforcement. As members of the National College for DUI Defense, we routinely further our education and understanding of this complex area of law every year while working with other top DUI attorneys from across the nation. Unlike other firms, our firm is totally focused on DUI defense, which gives us an edge and our clients an advantage.
The Zero-Tolerance Law
All states employ some type of zero-tolerance law in regard to underage drinking and driving. Virginia law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol as well as getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol and/or ingesting drugs. Anyone under 21 who is found driving with a .02 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or more is in violation of Section 18.2 -266.1 of the Code of Virginia and will immediately have their license suspended. Intoxication or impairment is not a factor. A BAC measured between .02 percent up to .07 percent constitutes an underage DUI which is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by:
- A driver’s license suspension for up to one year from the date of the conviction
- A mandatory minimum fine of $500 or a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service
- Possible jail time of up to 12 months
- Possible mandatory completion of a Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program after which a restricted license may be granted
Underage drivers who are convicted of driving with a BAC at .08 percent or above will face the same penalties as an adult.
Other Consequences of an Underage DUI
An underage DUI may also be accompanied by additional charges, such as:
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol
- Giving alcohol to other minors who were in the vehicle
- Child endangerment for transporting other minors while driving under the influence
Other consequences include an increase in auto insurance rates or a cancellation or non-renewal of your policy as well as a future with a permanent criminal record.
Get Experienced Legal Help from The Wilson Law Firm
As a parent, if your child has been stopped and charged with an underage DUI, you are undoubtedly worried about how it will affect his or her future. That is a justifiable concern which is why you should bring the case to an attorney who concentrates 100 percent on this field law. An underage DUI, whether it’s a first offense or repeat offense, is a serious matter which demands the knowledge and skills of an attorney fully versed in all of the mechanics and technicalities of DUI defense.
Our firm offers a free case consultation to help you understand all that’s involved and how we can help you pursue a favorable result. We’re available 24/7 for immediate assistance. Contact us to schedule your consultation with one of our attorneys today.