When a person thinks about legal limits for blood-alcohol content, 0.08 percent is probably what comes to mind immediately. This makes sense, given that every state has established this threshold for driving under the influence charges. However, it’s worth noting that different standards might be set for underage drivers, depending on the state.
In addition to the nationwide standard for a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content limit, every state has a legal drinking age of 21 years old. Beyond that, South Carolina has a 0.02 percent limit for underage drivers. When a person under the age of 21 meets this threshold in a blood or breath test, his or her driver’s license could automatically become suspended by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
It’s also worth noting that the state code of laws reiterates implied consent laws for drivers under 21. Anyone who is younger than the legal age of consumption has agreed to comply with a breath test simply by driving on the state roads.
Law enforcement can also pursue DUI charges for anyone they deem to be intoxicated, even if the suspected individual hasn’t met or surpassed the legal blood-alcohol content limit. This premise applies to drivers of any age.
At a young age, people face significant social pressures. So, if a group of young people are socializing and they wind up drinking, there are a lot of risks to be made aware of. Even if someone believes he or she is able to drive safely and volunteers to be the designated driver, complications can result even at low levels of blood-alcohol content.
Source: WestLaw, South Carolina Code 1976 § 56-1-286