In order to receive a Pennsylvania driver’s license, individuals must not only demonstrate the ability to safely driver a motor vehicle, but also a basic knowledge of the laws that govern the road, including DUI laws. However, everyone makes mistakes, and a person’s life should not be derailed by one misstep along the way. Nevertheless, penalties can be especially severe for underaged drivers facing drunk driving charges.

Although many individuals feel that turning 18 years old is the mark of adulthood, it is illegal to consumer alcohol under the age of 21. This also affects the permissible blood-alcohol content level for drivers. Individuals aged 21 and older have a legal BAC limit of .08 percent, whereas there is a no-tolerance policy for younger drivers.

Underage drivers can be arrested for operating a vehicle with any registered amount of alcohol in their system. A BAC of .02 percent or more can lead to even greater charges, and could result in thousands of dollars in fines and months in jail. Losing driving privileges is also likely, and underage defendants might not even have to have been driving for their licenses to be suspended. In Pennsylvania, underage drinkers could face months or even years of license suspensions if they are found consuming or possessing alcohol.

Driving privileges are often essential for educational and employment purposes. A drunk driving arrest can not only affect a person’s ability to continue driving, but could also mean jail time, fines and a criminal record. Swift action tends to be one of the most effective approaches for handling serious charges such as these in Pennsylvania.

Source: penndot.gov, “Impaired Driving“, Accessed on Nov. 27, 2017