All drunk driving charges are troubling. However, for a driver who hasn’t turned 21 years old yet, seeing those flashing lights behind them can be even more frightening. These underage drunk drivers are facing some very serious penalties that can affect their future.
It is imperative that anyone who is considering drinking before they turn 21 understand just how serious these charges are. Here are some points to consider if you are tempted to drink and drive but haven’t turned 21 yet or if you have already been charged with underage drinking and driving.
Conviction requires specific penalties
Among the penalties that you will face if you are convicted of underage drunk driving are education programs. You will have to complete the impaired driver education program. You may also have to be evaluated for substance abuse issues. On top of those, you face a fine of at least $500.
You can lose your license
If you are charged with drunk driving as a person who is underage, you are facing a minimum license suspension of nine months. There is the possibility that this will last even longer. Losing your driver’s license might make it difficult for you to survive. You might have trouble getting to work or running errands.
The blood-alcohol concentration is lower for underage drivers
Most drivers know that the legal limit for the blood-alcohol concentration is .08 percent. This limit is for drivers who are 21 or older. For drivers who are under 21, the legal limit for BAC is .02 percent in New Hampshire. This lower threshold means that you might face charges even if you haven’t had that much to drink.
Reason for strict laws
The high rate of accidents involving underage drunk drivers is the primary reason why states across the country have enacted these harsh laws. Around 35 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes with victims from 15 to 20 years old have drunk driving as a primary factor. The rate of alcohol in these underage drunk driving crashes is around twice that of the rate for drivers who have reached the legal drinking age.
People who are young tend to make mistakes. While underage drunk driving does have the possibility of impacting your future, you don’t have to stand by idly while this happens. Instead, you can fight the charges that have been levied against you. Learn the options that you have for your defense and decide how you are going to proceed.