Drunk driving charges can lead to serious penalties, and it is especially important to understand how strict the laws are for those under 21 if you have not reached the legal drinking age. From the loss of your driving privileges to financial penalties and consequences that affect your studies, underage drunk driving charges could shatter your life.
For starters, it is pivotal to recognize that the legal limit for drivers under the age of 21 is much lower than the legal limit for those 21 and older.
The legal limit and underage drunk driving
According to South Carolina’s Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, drivers under 21 face serious penalties for operating a vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration level is .02% or greater. For example, drivers dealing with these charges face a three-month license suspension (or a six-month suspension if convicted of DUI in the last five years).
Other penalties for underage drunk driving
Aside from losing the ability to drive, you will also have to finish an alcohol and drug safety program if the state suspends your license due to these charges. Furthermore, you could lose eligibility for scholarships and grants and become ineligible for the state’s individual income tax credit.
Court-imposed penalties aside, these charges could deal a devastating blow to your reputation, creating high levels of stress and other problems in your personal life. Underage drunk driving charges could cause problems later on when you try to apply for a certain job and your prospective employer sees your record. It is extremely important to approach underage drunk driving charges carefully.