UNDER THE LEGAL LIMIT BUT ALSO UNDERAGE
March 17, 2018
Anytime you find yourself facing charges for driving under the influence it is a very serious and stressful situation. But, what if you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, but you aren’t old enough to legally consume alcohol? This is a whole different ball game. There are often very serious penalties and lasting consequences for an underage DWI charge.
In many cases involving DWI charges you will often here talk about the legal limit, blood alcohol content and other evidence that may be used to prove these charges. The thing about an underage DWI is that it involves a whole different set of legal standards. In fact, maybe you only had one drink and you were actually under the legal limit for a DWI, but where you are also under the legal age this doesn’t matter.
All states have the same legal drinking age, and all states likewise have zero tolerance laws for underage DWI offenses. These zero tolerance laws make it illegal for all drivers under age 21 to drive with even a slight amount of alcohol in their system. While the legal limit for drivers over 21 is 0.08, underage drivers could be subjected to DWI charges with a blood alcohol content anything over 0.00-0.002 depending on the state.
These laws, while designed to address the very real dangers underage drinking and driving, nevertheless place underage drivers in even greater jeopardy of being subjected to these very serious charges. In fact, the federal government passed a law requiring all states to make a blood alcohol content of anything over 0.002 a per se DWI offense for an underage driver.
Underage DWI charges and penalties are very serious and can have long-term consequences. It is imperative to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you find yourself facing these charges.
Source: Findlaw.com, Underage DWI: Zero Tolerance Laws, accessed March 15, 2018.
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