All states in the U.S. have a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. This means that any detectable amount of alcohol in a minor driver’s system will result in a DUI charge. This can lead to legal consequences, as well as obstacles in the future.
Underage Drinking Statistics
Unfortunately, underage drinking is a common occurrence.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
- 20% of 8th graders report having been drunk at least once
- 75% of high school seniors have had more than a few sips of alcohol by the time they graduated
- 58% of high school seniors report being drunk at least once
Underage DUI Penalties
If a minor is found to have a BAC of .02% to .08%, they will be cited for underage DUI. An underage DUI will not result in jail time or fines. However, there are different penalties. The driver will have their license suspended for three months. A second offense will result in a six-month license suspension. The driver will also be required to complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program.
Other alcohol-related offenses that the minor may be cited for at the time of the DUI include:
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Soliciting alcohol from an adult
- Distributing alcohol to other minors
- Possession of a fake ID
These offenses can lead to additional penalties.
Having an underage DUI conviction on your record can impact your college possibilities.
To begin with, colleges may choose not to offer you admission with a DUI on your record. This is especially true if you did not disclose on your application that you have a conviction and the school found out by conducting a background check.
Additionally, depending on the circumstances of your DUI, you could be denied financial aid or scholarships. This largely depends on if the school is public or private and their individual policies. Still, it is important to note the major financial strain that a DUI could cause.
If you are a current college student who has been arrested for DUI, you could also face consequences at your school. Driving under the influence may be a violation of your school’s code of conduct. If so, you will have to attend a hearing where the school can put additional sanctions in place. In the most extreme cases, you can be expelled.
Charleston Underage DUI Lawyer
If your child is facing underage or standard DUI charges, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Joe Good, Attorney at Law understands the unique circumstances of underage DUI charges and can guide you and your family through the process. Contact Attorney Joe Good today to learn more.