Most adults understand that the legal limit is 0.08. This means that anyone with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08% legally cannot drive a vehicle. However, this limit is not the same for everyone.
For those under age 21, even possessing alcohol is against the law. This is why almost any detectable amount of alcohol in an underage driver’s system can result in severe consequences.
Age matters when it comes to the legal limit
Someone under age 21 could be penalized for drunk driving with a BAC of 0.02 or more. This can mean that even one drink could get someone into legal trouble.
If authorities claim your child was drinking and driving, it can be valuable to know what his or her BAC was because your child’s BAC affects the severity of the punishment he or she faces. A BAC between 0.02 and 0.04 usually results in suspended driving privileges for six months. If your child’s BAC was 0.05 or more while driving, he or she may need to complete a substance abuse course before he or she can regain driving privileges.
Other charges may also apply
These penalties may not seem as extreme as the penalties someone over age 21 might face for drinking and driving. However, someone under age 21 could receive other penalties as well.
For example, simply possessing alcohol is usually a second-degree misdemeanor offense. This can be punished with imprisonment or probation for up to 60 days and a $500 fine.
If authorities have arrested your child, you may feel inclined to let the justice system determine the appropriate punishment for your child’s actions. However, these punishments can have an unfair impact on the future of a child who made a mistake. Instead, it may be appropriate to help your child reach fair outcomes in court.