The consequences of underage drinking and driving

People under 21 are not legally able to buy alcohol, but, unfortunately, they can get it by other means. Teens are inexperienced with alcohol, so they might drive after a few drinks without thinking about the consequences. They might believe that they need to drink a lot of alcohol to face a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. However, the truth is that one single drink can get them in trouble.

Zero tolerance

South Carolina has a zero tolerance law that prohibits underaged drivers from having a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than 0.02%. The maximum BAC allowed for underaged people differs significantly from the maximum permitted to adults, which is 0.08%. This means that the police will be stricter when dealing with an underaged, intoxicated driver, even if they only had one drink.

Suspension of driver’s license

If the underaged driver has a BAC greater than 0.02% for the first time, the authorities will suspend their driver’s license for three months. The suspension of the driver’s license can last up to six months if they had a previous DUI conviction or refuse to give a breath, urine or blood sample. If they refuse to do the testing and have a prior alcohol-related conviction or suspension, then they may lose their license for a year.

Avoiding the consequences

An arrest does not necessarily mean that a conviction will happen. Sometimes, authorities can make mistakes by stopping the driver for unreasonable causes or failing to notice an error in the sobriety tests. No one should be arrested unfairly, much less kids that have their entire life ahead of them. That is why underaged drivers have the right to seek legal representation and request an administrative hearing to get their driving privileges back.

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