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Virginia Underage DUI Penalties

Beyond the criminal penalties for driving under the influence, there are a variety of other consequences that an underage driver may face if convicted of DUI in Virginia. The following is information on these consequences and how a Virginia underage DUI lawyer may be able to provide assistance. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.

Driver’s License Penalties

If you are under 21 and charged with a DUI, your license will be administratively suspended just as if you were an adult at the time of the offense.

Process For Obtaining a Restricted License

The process is similar. There may be certain circumstances for which a person under 21 is not eligible to obtain a restricted license or their restricted license may be shortened to allow for lesser privileges than an adult would have. The Virginia Restricted Driver’s License Statute 18.2-271.1 does allow driving but for only for certain permitted times and certain permitted functions at certain permitted times.

A person who is under 21 may have less of these privileges than one who is over 21 by virtue of their life responsibilities. For example, if someone is a student and receives a DUI offense, they are allowed to drive to and from class, but they cannot drive to non-class places that may be required to complete their schooling. Another example would be someone driving to and from their college classes but not permitted to drive to the library to study or to their internships or to a study group. This is one example of where restricted license may not be as readily attainable. In addition, a judge may not be as inclined to grant a young person a restricted license if they do not have a lot of driving experience and during their limited driving experience have accumulated a DUI offense.

Long Term Implications of An Underage DUI

Underage DUI is a criminal conviction, and just like any other criminal conviction, it goes on your record. If you are over 18 that record stays with you forever, and if you are under 18 the record may exist until you are 18.

Other long term implications to consider are potentially high insurance rates, disclosing your record on employment applications as well as graduate school applications. A DUI may also come up in security clearance and background investigations.

Alternative Sentencing in Underage DUI Cases

If someone is over 18 and under 21 and their offense requires jail time, they will have to do the jail time as the normal adult population. There is no alternative available just because that individual is under 21.

If, however, the individual is a juvenile, meaning under 18 years old, then he may be sentenced to juvenile detention or other available alternatives. If someone’s DUI offense is their first under the criminal justice system, he may have other alternatives available to him, including the ability to perform community service, pay higher fine, and have more suspended time in lieu for a period of active incarceration.

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