Posted: September 18, 2015
Underage drinking is a nationwide problem that can lead to devastating consequences. According to the Mayo Clinic, underage drinking often leads to alcohol-related accidents, increased sexual activity, problems at school, alcoholism, and an increased risk of being a violent crime victim. A fact sheet compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that “on average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.”
These problems are compounded when an underage drinker gets behind the wheel. Not only do they put themselves in harm’s way, they pose a great danger to the general public. In Minnesota, the consequences for underage drinking (under 21) and driving vary depending on the alcohol concentration present in a person’s body.
What are the consequences for underage drinking and driving if I’m under .08?
Underage drinking and driving is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, $1,000 fine, or both. A license suspension is triggered at the same time. A first-time offense causes a loss of driving privileges for 30 days. A subsequent offense leads to a 180 day loss of driving privileges.
What if I have an alcohol concentration over .08?
The criminal penalty for an underage drinker who is over .08 is the same as an individual who is 21 or over. The penalty for a DWI or test refusal is governed by Minnesota Statute 169A.20. If convicted, you could face anywhere from a misdemeanor for a first time offense all the way up to a felony depending on the circumstances. The license revocation is another side to a DWI. Someone who is underage and violates Minnesota Statute 169A.20 loses their driver’s license for a period of not less than 180 days depending on the type offense committed.
You will want experienced legal counsel if you’ve been charged with underage drinking and driving. Let the attorneys at Sieben Edmunds PLLC help you every step of the way. Give us a call at 651-994-6744 or visit our contact page to find out how we can help you.
Stay tuned for the next installment in this DWI blog series!