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DUIs are serious – especially if you’re underage

We all know that driving under the influence (DUI) charges come with some very serious consequences. If you are under the age of 21, those consequences could affect your future for years. Not only will you have a conviction on your criminal record, you might also face suspension from your university, problems finding employment, or even getting an apartment.

The laws in Virginia concerning underage DUI recipients tend to be very strict due to a disproportionately high number of drinking-and-driving fatalities caused by underage drinking. If you have received a DUI charge, it is important to remember that you still have the right to defend against the charges in court. Read further to find out more about penalties for underage DUIs in Virginia.

Blood alcohol content

For individuals that are 21 or older, the legal limit is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent. For those that are under 21, a BAC of .02 percent or more will be enough for an officer to issue a DUI.

Penalties

If the court convicts you of a DUI, you will lose your license for up to one year from the date the court passing judgment. In addition, you will receive a minimum of a $500 fine or 50 hours of community service. Depending on the severity of your charges, it is very possible that the court may increase the fine or the community service hours. You might also have to complete an Alcohol Safety Action Program and the Department of Motor Vehicles might only allow you to have a restricted license. A second offense will carry even more severe penalties. If your BAC was .08 percent or higher, the court may impose the same penalties as someone 21 or older might face, including jail time.

Other charges

If a law enforcement officer stops you for driving under the influence, you could face other charges as well. For example, if you had underage friends in the car, you might face charges for child endangerment. If you used a fake ID to purchase alcohol, you could also get slapped with charges for possession of false identification and providing alcohol to other minors.

Like most other states, Virginia takes underage drinking and driving very seriously. A conviction could haunt you for years to come. There are many defenses available that may apply to your situation so that you can either beat the charges or obtain the minimum amount of penalties.

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