Your Legal Rights at Work

Underage DUI – How Will It Impact Your Life?

by Lewis Hamilton

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a common occurrence all over the country. Laws and penalties are becoming more strict each year and those who make the mistake of driving after a few drinks can find themselves facing jail time, thousands of dollars in fines and the loss of their driving privileges. Sadly, teenagers and young adults under the legal drinking age also make the mistake of driving under the influence and their penalties become even more damaging.

Lower Blood Alcohol Content

Teenagers and underage adults do not have the same BAC levels as those who are of age. This means that if this age group has just one drink, they can be charged with driving under the influence. In Pennsylvania, underage drivers can be arrested if their BAC level is .02 or greater. For many people, this low of a BAC level is not enough to actually impair the driver, but it is enough to be charged as such.

Penalties for Underage Drivers

The penalties for underage drivers are set by the court. If the driver in question has a clean record and doesn't show a history of drinking or other illegal activities, the judge could sentence the driver to a couple of days, or a couple of months in jail, a suspended driver's license and fines.

If the driver is being charged with a second offence under the influence while underage offense, the penalties will likely include several weeks in jail, more fines and a definite license suspension.

Future Damages

Not only will the driver suffer now, but he or she will feel the effects of this conviction for possibly the rest of his or her life. A DUI will show up on a criminal background check and could make it difficult to find employment, get auto insurance and even rent or mortgage a home. This will create a big disadvantage for the driver that he or she will never be free of.

Possible Expungement

You may have heard people talk about getting their DUI offense expunged from their criminal record. This is not an easy thing to do in many cases, unless it is a first offense and the BAC was very low. It is an impossible task without the assistance of a qualified DUI attorney, and even then, it can be difficult to accomplish.

Talk with your DUI attorney from a firm like Jack Weatherill Law Offices about how the penalties can be reduced and if there is anything he or she can do to help.