What Happens If You Get A DUI And You're Under Age?
Driving under the influence is a serious offense for any driver. Being under the legal age will mean you are guilty of two crimes. What happens if you do get a DUI while under 21? Here's a look at what could happen.
Face Harsher Penalties Than an Adult
In California, you will face harsher penalties when under age than you would have had you been an adult. Not only will you be convicted for drunk driving, you will also be convicted of drinking under the age of consent. You're putting your future on the line, as colleges and employers will be able to find out this information.
There is a zero tolerance law in effect in California, so make sure you drive without any alcohol in your system. The types of penalties will depend on your actual blood alcohol level. Being over by 0.01% will lead to the loss of your license for a year, but over by 0.05% will lead to a fine and driving course requirement. If you're over the drinking limit of 0.08%, you'll face the same criminal charges adults face.
Other states will be different on the tolerance, but the laws surrounding the drinking age are still the same, and you will face penalties for being under the legal age. For example, in Texas you may face a 60-day suspension, as well as a fine and community service. The penalties increase if you've been caught drinking and driving while under age more than once.
Your Car Insurance Rates Will Rise
In the majority of cases, you'll see your car insurance rates go up. This could happen even if your license isn't suspended. Some insurance providers may even opt to drop you as a client altogether as they consider you more of a risk. This will depend on the company and any other offenses on your driving record. If it was clear before this incident, you may find yourself lucky with no rise in premium.
Your Vehicle May Be Impounded
One of the penalties for adults is vehicles sometimes being impounded. This will depend on your blood alcohol limit, but as an underage drinker, you may face the same penalties. You can also be locked in a cell until you've sobered, and someone else will need to pick you up in the morning.
Don't drink and drive. It's not worth the risks—and not just to your driving record. Getting a DUI while under age is a serious offense that will haunt you for the rest of your life.