Because of the potentially harmful consequences, there are strict standards and serious penalties if you are caught drunk driving when you are under 21. Below are some key facts regarding underage DUI, one of the most common criminal charges for Pennsylvania college students.
What counts as underage DUI?
Because the drinking age is 21, there are more stringent standards for determining whether to charge an underage person with a DUI. If the chemical test finds an underage driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02 percent or higher, he or she may be cited and charged with driving under the influence.
What are the penalties?
The penalties for a first underage DUI charge include:
- Jail time up to 90 days
- Fine of $300 to $500
- License suspension if BAC is above 0.10 percent
Repeat DUIs have stronger penalties, including jail time up to six months, fines up to $2500 and a one-year license suspension.
What about refusing the test?
Pennsylvania has an implied consent law, meaning that anyone who is lawfully arrested for a DUI is required to taking a blood, breath or urine test to determine his or her BAC. Refusing a chemical test results in an automatic license suspension of at least one year.
Are there consequences for car insurance?
Insurance companies may raise monthly premiums when people are convicted of DUI. Some insurance companies choose to terminate coverage after the insured driver is convicted of underage DUI. Other companies refuse to renew.
If you are facing an underage DUI charge as a Pennsylvania student, you should get assistance from a DUI defense attorney. A DUI conviction comes with significant consequences. The consequences are worse if any property was damaged, people were injured or it is a repeat offense. You may be able to reduce or avoid charges with the help of a criminal defense lawyer.