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Underage Drunk Driving Laws And Legal Consequences


Engaging in underage drinking is a concern in all circumstances, and when the behavior is combined with the act of driving under the influence (DUI), the personal and legal consequences can be severe. When a family is involved with a Maryland underage drunk driving charge, it is crucial for them to understand the applicable laws, potential penalties, record-clearing options.

A seasoned Baltimore DUI & DWI lawyer can make the process smoother and may be able to secure results that are more favorable for an accused individual than what they would be able to connect with on their own. Attorneys are able to provide legal expertise, negotiation skills, and guidance through the complexities of drunk driving charges.

Potential Penalties for Underage Drunk Drivers

Maryland has stringent laws in place to deter underage individuals from consuming alcohol and operating a vehicle under the influence. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for individuals under the age of 21 is 0.02%. This level is significantly lower than the limit for those who are of legal drinking age, meaning 21 years old or older. This strict threshold is in place to emphasize the state’s commitment to preventing impaired driving among young people.

Of course, strict rules aren’t always enough, so there are also strong penalties to deter underage individuals from driving under the influence as well.

  • Suspending a driver’s license. A first offense could lead to the suspension of driving privileges for 180 days, while subsequent offenses may result in longer suspensions or revocations.
  • Monetary fines. Underage DUI offenders may face fines, with the amount varying based on factors such as the driver’s BAC and whether it’s a first-time offense or not.
  • Ignition interlock devices. In some cases, a judge may order the installation of an ignition interlock device, even for a first-time offender. This device requires the driver to blow into a tube that measures BAC before starting the vehicle.
  • Educational programs. Courts may mandate that a person convicted of an underage DUI is required to complete an alcohol education or treatment program.
  • Community service. Offenders may need to perform community service as a way to contribute positively to society while fulfilling part of their punishment.

Connecting with a legal professional as soon as possible is advised as an experienced attorney understands the complexities of Maryland’s laws and can provide guidance tailored to your specific case.

Record-Clearing Options

When a person is convicted of driving and drinking underage, the consequences may extend beyond immediate penalties. Because a criminal record can have lasting impacts on educational and employment opportunities, you may want to learn more about options for clearing a criminal record. Expungement eligibility varies. Talking to Baltimore DUI & DWI lawyers is an opportunity to explore eligibility and navigate the expungement process effectively.

Is an underage DUI a source of upset in your family? If you are unfamiliar with the intricacies of the Maryland legal system you may feel overwhelmed but the attorneys at Iamele & Iamele, LLP are available to compassionately listen to you and share with you paths forward. Contact us to book your fee-free appointment.

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