Aggressive Litigation. Compassionate Representation. Proven Results.

What happens if I am under 21 and charged with DUI in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2022 | DUI Defense

Being arrested can be worrisome for anyone in Virginia, but for a juvenile, it is especially frightening. Not only will there be concerns about the possible penalties, but there are the inevitable worries as to how the future might be negatively impacted. While it is illegal for those under 21 to drink alcohol, some do it anyway. This is a legal violation by itself. When accused of getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, an arrest is highly likely. Understanding the laws of the commonwealth for underage drinking and driving is important when considering how to formulate a defense.

What happens with an underage DUI in Virginia?

While adults who are charged with DUI in Virginia will generally need to register a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, it is less for juveniles because they are technically not allowed to drink alcohol at all. For them, the BAC must only be 0.02% to warrant a DUI charge.

This is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The potential consequences include losing driving privileges for one year from the date they are convicted and a fine of at least $500 or 50 hours of community service. Underage DUI rules are based on “zero tolerance.” This essentially means that the law’s basis stems from those under 21 being expected to avoid alcohol and not get behind the wheel if they do break the law and drink.

Some underage drivers are under the mistaken impression that they have the right to refuse to take part in testing procedures when they are stopped by law enforcement. In truth, the law states that anyone driving a motor vehicle must adhere to implied consent. That means they must agree to give a breath sample or take a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol in their body. Simply refusing can lead to penalties, even if the person has not been drinking.

Young people will be going to parties and events during the school year. This is particularly true when the college football and basketball seasons are in full swing. Whether it is at a tailgate, a college party or any other gathering, there may be the temptation to drink underage and the subsequent decision to drive. That can cause myriad problems that need to be addressed.

We can help with an effective DUI defense

After the person is arrested and charged, it is important to have comprehensive guidance to try and find a positive resolution. We can help you with your case by providing aggressive strategies. Our history with getting results is known throughout the commonwealth.

Every client is viewed as an individual and is prioritized from the outset. There is a difference in the type of service when the legal representative is local and knows the terrain of the courts, is familiar with the prosecutors and can gauge the scenarios to reach an acceptable outcome. A DUI conviction may hinder a person’s future when they are in high school or college, so it is wise to call for help immediately and fight the case.