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The penalties for underage drunk driving in Virginia

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2021 | Criminal Law

If you have not reached the age of 21 and you drive, or you are the parent of a young driver under 21, it is very important to understand state laws on underage drunk driving. In fact, many young people face drunk driving charges even though they had a very small amount of alcohol in their system when a law enforcement official pulled them over.

Underage drunk driving cases carry serious repercussions. If you are facing charges, you need to realize what is at stake and the potential penalties you could face.

Looking at underage drunk driving and Virginia law

According to Virginia’s Legislative Information, it is against the law for those under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle after unlawfully consuming alcohol. In fact, drivers under the age of 21 could face drunk driving charges if their blood alcohol content level is 0.02% or higher.

With such a low legal limit, some young drivers unexpectedly face these charges because they failed to realize that a very small amount of alcohol could result in a drunk driving case. Moreover, some are falsely accused of driving drunk.

The penalties that come with underage drunk driving

If charged with drunk driving, someone under the age of 21 could face various consequences. For example, you could lose your driver’s license for one year and have to perform 50 hours of community service or pay a $500 fine.

Aside from court-imposed penalties, young drivers charged with this offense could suffer damage to their reputation and encounter problems with respect to employment and their education. If you are facing drunk driving charges as a minor, make sure you understand your options.