The legal drinking age in Pennsylvania, like in all states in the nation, is 21. Any person under the age of 21 who chooses to consume alcohol recreationally is breaking the law. There are no exceptions. Drivers on the road who are under 21 account for less than 10 percent of all drivers, but they account for 12 percent of all fatalities linked to driving under the influence in Pennsylvania. This is only according to a single survey, but the numbers are startling nonetheless. Penalties for underage drinkers are harsher than those who consume alcohol legally.
The legal limit of alcohol in the blood for an adult driver is .08. The legal BAC for a person under the age of 21 is .02. If a driver under the age of 21 registers a .02 or higher when given a BAC test, they can be arrested for driving under the influence. Any person convicted of this crime faces up to 90 days in jail, a fine not to exceed $500 and a possible license suspension. A second offense results in a maximum jail sentence of 6 months, a fine not to exceed $2,500, and a license suspension of one year.
Jail time and fines are not the only implications of an underage driving under the influence conviction. An insurance company may terminate the policy of any person under the age of 21 who has been convicted of DUI. Alternatively, they may refuse to renew a policy for the convicted person. In the event that insurance is continued, premiums typically climb. The person convicted of a DUI is considered to be a high-risk and policy premiums reflect that.
Any person who is charged with underage DUI in Pennsylvania is facing serious consequences. A DUI conviction can affect a person’s ability to enter college, gain a professional license or even find employment. These consequences can have a ripple effect. If you have been charged with underage DUI, reach out Steven E. Kellis today. Together, we will schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation to advise you of the options you have as you move forward. Don’t wait; an underage DUI can be devastating for your future endeavors. Call now.