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New Laws to Take Effect for Underage Drinking and Driving in Virginia

Posted on Mar 17, 2011
Until recently, a teenager who possessed alcohol would have received a stiffer punishment than a teenager who was guilty of drinking and driving in Virginia. According to state law, a person under 21 years old who was caught with possession of alcohol would have been guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and suffered a $2,500 fine and up to 12 months in jail. Whereas a teenager guilty of underage drinking and driving would have received a fine of not more than $500, a six month license suspension, and a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Lawmakers recently corrected this issue and changed the penalties associated with underage drinking and driving in Virginia. Members of the General Assembly voted to increase the charge for teenage drinking and driving to a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Two bills were unanimously approved by the assembly regarding underage drinking and driving in Virginia. House Bill 770 and House Bill 1407 were both approved by the House and Senate and will be signed into law by Governor Bob McDonnell - effective July 1, 2011.

The new law will also punish a driver who is under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 or higher, which is considered a zero tolerance law. If any underage driver is convicted of a DUI, there will be a $500 fine or 50 hours of community service. The underage driver will also have to forfeit their license for one year.

If you or your son or daughter has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Northern Virginia, please call the Wilson Law Firm at (800) DUI-LWYR, and we will provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation.

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