Any alcohol in a person who is under the age of 21 could potentially get them a conviction for DUI since they are not supposed to be consuming alcohol in the State of Virginia. A DUI charge for someone under the age of 21 is different from a regular DUI because of the age factor. Prosecutors have a zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving, and if someone is facing these charges, they should hire a Virginia underage DUI lawyer right away.
If you are under 21, you can be convicted of a DUI if you are operating a motor vehicle in the State of Virginia after illegally consuming alcohol or if you have a blood alcohol content level higher than 0.02 but less than 0.08. It is essential that you speak with an experienced DUI attorney to begin building a strong defense case against underage DUI charges.
The statute is interesting because certainly, anything over 0.08 is obviously going to be a DUI but between 0.02 and 0.08 here in Virginia, that is going to be problematic as well because of the presence of alcohol.
For example, if a person was at some religious ceremony that required the person to drink a little bit of alcohol, maybe the person is at church and they drink some of the wine—let’s say a person is a small person and they take a particularly large gulp and it gets them to that 0.02 and then they drive, they could potentially be convicted of DUI because the way the statute is written. A person could be facing underage DUI charges. Even if a person consumes alcohol and they get less than 0.02 and they drive and they are under 21, they certainly can be convicted of a DUI but if they do have a legal reason, again, like a religious ceremony or something like that, then they could potentially be convicted of DUI if they hit that 0.02 or more. A person will want to consult a skilled Virginia underage DUI lawyer to begin building a case.
Impairment does not come into play. It is honestly either illegally consuming alcohol or a 0.02 or above. It is straightforward; it is not about impairment at all. Unfortunately, it is one of those things where a person cannot drink and drive and they make it clear-cut for the underage.
When a person is facing underage DUI charges, the person is obviously under 21 by virtue of the person being charged with this particular offense. What that means is the person is so young, they have their life ahead of them. Having a conviction on a person’s record at such an early age especially for an alcohol or substance abuse-related conviction closes doors for the person, not only to colleges and graduate schools but to certain types of employers and certain types of jobs.
A person does not want to face that especially in situations where the person does not have anything on their record. You may need a Virginia underage DUI lawyer who understands these situations and can determine the best course of action.
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