Under any circumstance, a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs can lead to harsh criminal penalties and long-term consequences. For people under the age of 21, the legal standards for what constitutes drunk driving are even stricter.

If you are underage and facing charges, you could benefit from an experienced criminal defense attorney while you work towards a positive legal outcome. Do not delay in contacting a Charleston underage DUI lawyer for assistance with your case.

Adult vs. Underage DUI Convictions

One of the main differences between of age and Underage DUIs appears in the legal maximum BAC that is considered under the influence: the legal limit for an adult DUI is a BAC of 0.08 percent, whereas the legal limit for someone under 21 is a BAC of 0.02 percent. Another major difference between the two offenses is the absence of an incarceration penalty. If charged with Underage DUI, which is totally up to the discretion of the arresting officer, then you cannot be prosecuted for the standard DUI charge where incarceration and a fine are possible.

What happens to an underage driver’s license after a DUI charge depends on whether they submitted to or refused the breathalyzer test requested by the arresting officer. If someone is under the age of 21, their driver’s license could be suspended in a slightly different way than if they were an adult. A Charleston underage drunk driving attorney could offer further clarification about license restrictions and other procedures that may follow a conviction, if charged with adult DUI.

Could an Underage DUI Affect a Minor’s Future?

Under South Carolina law, some college students could potentially lose their scholarships if they are convicted of an alcohol-related offense. In addition, there is often a social stigma connected to a conviction. Underage DUI legal advisors in Charleston could help protect a minor’s reputation so that they do not lose any future job or school opportunities.

Discuss Legal Options with a Charleston Underage DUI Attorney

In many cases, consuming a single alcoholic beverage could give an underage person a BAC of over 0.02 percent, which could lead to them being charged with a DUI if they are pulled over by a law enforcement officer.

To avoid the potentially harsh penalties that come with DUI convictions, it could be crucial for you to retain legal counsel that knows how to handle these cases and protect the best interests of defendants under the age of 21. To make an initial appointment and talk about your case, call a Charleston underage DUI lawyer today.

We know these are uncertain times, but we are still ready to assist you with your criminal case.