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Reviewing the impact of underage drunk driving charges

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Underage drunk driving is a serious offense with far-reaching consequences for young drivers. When a driver under the legal drinking age is caught driving under the influence of alcohol, they face legal, social and personal repercussions that can have a lasting impact on their lives.

Young drivers facing these charges should carefully review the potential impact of a DUI.

Court-imposed penalties

One of the immediate consequences of underage drunk driving charges is legal trouble. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says that the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers under 21 is .02, much lower than for adult drivers. If a young driver is found to have a BAC above this limit, they can face charges of driving under the influence. These charges can result in hefty fines, license suspension and even jail time, depending on the severity of the offense.

In addition to legal penalties, underage drunk driving charges can also have a significant impact on a young driver’s future opportunities. A DUI can show up on background checks, affecting the driver’s ability to secure employment, housing or financial aid for college.

Other consequences

The stigma of a drunk driving charge can follow a young driver for years to come, making it harder to move past the mistake and rebuild their reputation. Socially, underage drunk driving charges can also damage relationships with friends, family and peers. It can lead to feelings of shame, guilt and isolation. On a personal level, underage drunk driving charges can also take a toll on a young driver’s mental health and well-being. Uncertainty about the future can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.

Young people charged with driving under the influence should carefully review the details surrounding their case and focus on safeguarding their future.