What are the penalties for underage drinking and driving?

The legal driving age in Massachusetts, as well as most of the rest of the country, is 16-years-old. The legal drinking age, again in accordance with the majority of the country, is 21-years-of age. This means that consumption of alcohol by anyone who is younger than 21-years-of age, is illegal in the state. The only exception is if the underage individual is on private premises that do not sell alcohol and their legal guardian has consented. Despite this, underage people get between the wheel having consumed various amounts of alcohol. And if they are caught driving while intoxicated by the police, they may face serious penalties, because underage drinking and driving is considered a serious offense.

Where the blood alcohol level for those older than 21-years-of age, a drunk driving charge is levied if their blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent. However, if someone under the age of 21 has a BAC of .02 percent, they can be cited for a DUI. The penalties start off severe right off the bat for a first time conviction and only increase in severity as the offenses multiply.

For the firs DUI, a person is facing an imprisonment of up to 30 months, a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000 and license suspension for anywhere from 90 days to one year. For the second conviction, a person could be imprisoned for up to one year in jail, fined anywhere between $600 and $10,000 and have their license suspended for up to two years. There could be additional but related charges levied against them as well.

For someone about to begin their life, underage drunk driving charges have the ability to destroy their career even before they are started-convictions can show up on background checks for colleges and for jobs. Taking these charges seriously from the onset is essential. Where some may find that challenging the charges in court may be the best legal option, it doesn't have to be the only one - an experienced defense attorney may be able to work out alternatives with the prosecution.

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