Underage drinking may seem like a minor crime since it involves individuals under the age of 21, but, in reality, a conviction will bring very steep consequences. These consequences are as serious, if not worse, than drunk driving charges for adults. If you are facing these charges, your future, freedom and right to drive are on the line.
Colleges and future employers take a DUI conviction very seriously, and this blight on your criminal record could impact your future opportunities. As a young person with a bright future, you will find great benefit in establishing a strong defense as a key component to moving past this type of mistake and shielding yourself from some of the most serious penalties.
The penalties for underage drinking and driving
North Carolina has a zero tolerance law, which means that any driver under the age of 21 will face arrest if he or she has any alcohol in his or her system, even if that person was not driving at the time. If caught driving with alcohol in your system, you could face the following penalties and consequences:
- One year revocation of driver’s license
- Punishment as a Class 2 misdemeanor
- Community service hours, a $250 fine or jail time
- Court cost of $190
- Fines as much as $1,000
- Attorneys fees
- Increased insurance premiums
If you are 18, 19 or 20 years old, you may be able to secure limited driving privileges if you are able to pay a $100 fee and have no prior convictions. Other penalties and consequences will apply if there were minors in your car, you were in possession of a fake ID or you attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages.
Your future is worth protecting
In addition to the administrative and criminal penalties that you will face if convicted of underage drinking and driving, there are a myriad of other consequences that may impact your life, including:
- Difficulty getting into college
- Loss of offered scholarships
- Removal from certain student and extracurricular groups
- Expulsion from school
- Difficulty securing a job in the future
Underage drinking is a serious crime, but that in no way precludes you from a strong future. By working with an experienced, aggressive attorney, you may defend yourself by challenging the evidence against you or seeking a deal that will bring less disruptive and severe penalties.