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Virginia Lawmakers Approve Harsher Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving

Posted on Jul 05, 2011
Recently the state of Virginia has announced that beginning July 1, 2011, it will charge higher penalties for underage drinking and driving. State lawmakers are considering a zero tolerance policy for drivers who are drinking and driving underage.

These penalties for underage drinkers pulled over for a DUI will be a harsh new reality. Currently, the fine is not more than $500 and driver's license suspended for six months. The new law states that anyone under 21 years of age with a 0.02% blood alcohol level or higher will receive 50 hours of community service or a $500 fine, as well as a one full year driver's license suspension The driver's license suspension is not "up to a year." It is one complete year that a driver under the age of 21 would lose their license, if found guilty.

Underage drinking and driving in Virginia will be considered a class 1 misdemeanor, and drivers older than 21 would be subject to a DUI charge if their blood alcohol level is over 0.08%.

The state is focusing on teens drinking and driving because they believe teenage drivers are one of the highest risk groups on the roads, and underage drinking and driving is believed to be a huge problem. In 2010, Virginia officials convicted 1,285 drivers under the age of 21 of drunk driving in Virginia.

Just last month, Carter Womick, another teen, was arrested for drunken driving after a car accident that critically injured his passenger.

If you have been charged with underage drinking and driving or a DUI in Virginia, please contact a skilled Northern Virginia DUI defense lawyer at the Wilson Law Firm regarding your case. Call (703) 361-6100 today for a free legal consultation.

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