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Virginia DUI Penalties: Younger than 21

After a long school year, summer has finally arrived. It's the perfect chance to kick loose, enjoy your break from classes and take full advantage of the warm weather. For many, taking advantage of the warm weather means drinking with your friends. Between going to parties, outdoor concerts and taking road trips to the beach, your weekends are jam packed and alcohol fueled.

You had good intentions not to drink and drive but got wrapped up in having a good time. Before you knew it, it was late, you needed to get home and your car was parked right outside. Unfortunately, just one night of underage fun has now turned into a terrible nightmare. The consequences for drunk driving, especially if you’re under 21 can be severe and have a lasting impact.

What Is the Legal Limit for Drivers Under 21?

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, a police officer will likely administer a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Any driver under 21, who has a BAC of .02 percent or higher, can be cited for driving under the influence (DUI). The legal limit for those 21 and over is .08 percent, however, any driver with a BAC over .08 percent could face felony charges.

What Are the Penalties for Underage DUI?

If you have been cited with an underage DUI, you may face the following penalties:

  • Suspended driver’s license (up to one year from conviction date)

  • Restricted driver’s license

  • Minimum fine of $500

  • Minimum 50 hours of community service

  • Ignition interlock device (installed in your car)

  • Completion of Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program

What Should You Do if You’re Facing DUI Charges?

As a young student, the future ramifications of a DUI conviction can be disastrous, which is why you should not attempt to fight these charges on your own. Give yourself the best chance possible by hiring an attorney who focuses on DUI defense. Their experience with these types of cases will be valuable in determining how your case should be approached and guiding you through the process.