The average adult doesn’t give driving under the influence (DUI) charges the consideration they demand. After all, such charges can lead to incarceration and the loss of your license, in addition to the possibility of jail time. Many adults assume that they will notice when they are too drunk to drive, and a surprising number of young adults think the same thing.
New drivers often don’t give alcohol the respect it deserves, especially when you consider that they both lack experience handling a vehicle and handling alcohol intoxication. Few people account for how alcohol increases your sense of confidence and may lead to an overestimation of your driving skills.
Teenagers, in particular, won’t likely be able to tell when they are at risk of DUI charges because the rules are so different for underage drivers.
Virginia imposes strict limits on minors
Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drivers who drink before getting behind the wheel. Although the usual limit for someone’s breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%, the limit is much lower for young drivers.
Someone under the age of 21 can get arrested for an underage DUI offense with a BAC of just 0.02%. Even a teenager who has made a habit of alcohol consumption when getting together with friends may not realize when they have exceeded that incredibly low 0.02% BAC limit.
An underage DUI can affect everything from your child’s college dreams to their career opportunities. Your whole family may have to adjust to accommodate them if they lose their license because of a zero-tolerance DUI charge.
Helping your teen driver doesn’t mean enabling them
There is a surprisingly large number of parents that advocate for tough love when a child runs afoul of the law as a teenager. These people seem to have an unrealistically rosy idea of what involvement in the criminal justice system means for youthful offenders.
Far from resulting in a slap on the wrist, an underage DUI offense could put someone at a disadvantage for many years to come. You can help your child learn from their mistake by impressing the seriousness of the infraction on them while simultaneously helping support them as they defend against those charges.
Helping your teen mount a rigorous defense against underage DUI charges could help them move on with their life and learn from that mistake so that they do not repeat it later.