Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

It seems illogical that individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 can be drafted into military service, can vote and can choose to get married but they cannot legally drink. However, the fact that this reality is illogical does not mean that it should be ignored. Legally, Americans cannot drink alcohol until they turn 21-years-old. And as a result, when individuals younger than 21 are charged with drunk driving, some unique consequences can result.

For example, driving while intoxicated charges are generally treated as juvenile crimes if those who are charged are under 18-years-old. Juveniles may face fines, community service and either juvenile detention or jail depending on whether prosecutors opt to try affected persons in juvenile court or not.

Individuals aged 18 to 20 may similarly face fines and community service, as well as jail time. In addition, all underage individuals may have their driver’s licenses revoked or suspended and may be required to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.

Finally, it is worth noting that many consequences of underage DUI arrests and convictions may have nothing to do with actual judicial sentencing. A criminal record may result in difficulty obtaining admission to college, being hired for a job and being able to rent an apartment. Because the consequences of underage DUI situations are so numerous, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who may be able to help you eliminate or mitigate any potential negative consequences resulting from an underage DUI arrest.

Source: Findlaw Blotter, “Underage DUIs: 5 Potential Legal Consequences,” Brett Snider, July 24, 2014

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