Virginia DUI/DWI Under 21
If you are under the legal drinking age of 21, it is against the law for you to consume alcoholic beverages. It is also against the law for you to drive a car after illegally consuming alcohol. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, an adult with a BAC level of 0.08 or higher is considered to be under the influence of alcohol. However, if you are under the age of 21, you cannot get behind the wheel of a car if you have any alcohol in your system. That is to say, if you are under 21 and your BAC level is 0.02 or higher you can be charged with drunk driving.
The Severity Of Drunk Driving Under 21
Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or other intoxicants while you are under the age of 21 is a Class 1 misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor under Virginia law. The range of punishment includes up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. The sentencing judge will typically have the discretion to impose a sentence of both jail time and a fine or he can sentence you to either jail time or a fine.
Minimum Punishments For Underage Drinking
If you are convicted of drunk driving and you are under the age of 21, you are subject to certain mandatory minimum sentencing provisions under Virginia law. For example, you will be required to pay a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or perform a mandatory minimum of 50 community service hours. Your driver’s license will also be administratively suspended for seven days from the date of your arrest. Moreover, you will be required to forfeit your driver’s license for one year from the date of your conviction.
However, you have the option to attend an alcohol safety action program that is approved by the Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP). Upon your successful completion of the program, you may be eligible for a restricted driving permit that will allow you to drive for limited purposes including to and from work, school, medical appointments and court appearances.