21 and Over: A Look at Virginia’s Zero-Tolerance Law

teen driver looking at camera

Drinking and driving is never a good idea, no matter how old you are. We understand that life happens and mistakes are made. But what happens a minor is caught driving under the influence in Virginia?

Virginia Zero Tolerance Law

Virginia has a very strict stance when it comes to minors driving under the influence.

Virginia Code states:

“It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to operate any motor vehicle after illegally consuming alcohol.”

Virginia Code § 18.2-266.1

Meaning that any minor who is caught behind the wheel with a BAC of 0.02 or above will be charged with a DUI. A BAC of 0.02 is much lower than the normal DUI BAC of 0.08.

In addition, “zero-tolerance” means that anyone under 21 is not allowed to have ANY amount of alcohol in their system, for any reason, if they wish to drive. Meaning that even if they’re below the legal DUI BAC cutoff, they will still face criminal charges.

Virginia Penalties for Underage DUIs

In Virginia, minor DUI charges are considered Class 1 misdemeanors and could have severe penalties, including:

  • A loss of your driver’s license for up to one year.
  • A minimum fine of $500 OR 50 hours of community service
  • Six demerit points on your driving record

However, there are other possible penalties, such as illegal possession of alcohol or reckless driving. These can be stacked on top of the DUI charges.

Vaughan Jones Can Help Protect Your Future

An underage DUI will leave a lasting stain on your record, and cause a lot of headaches if convicted. Working with an experienced attorney is you or your child’s best option at preventing an underage DUI arrest from becoming a conviction.

If you or your loved one has been arrested for an underage DUI, we recommend you call our team today (804) 207-5735. Attorney Vaughan Jones can help you gather evidence to build a convincing case to defend your rights and your future.

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