Pennsylvania is tough on crimes associated with underage drinking, so knowing your rights is very important. In Pennsylvania, if you are under 21 years old and suspected of drinking and driving, there is a zero tolerance policy. This policy means that if you have any alcohol in your system (.02% Blood Alcohol Content), then you can be arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI). Being charged with a DUI as a minor has serious criminal penalties. If convicted of DUI while under 21 you will face a mandatory fine of between $500-$5000. Your license will be suspended for 1 year, and your parents will be notified. Worst of all, you will face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 48 hours in jail and a criminal record for D.U.I. If your blood alcohol level is above a .16 then you face additional jail time.
In addition to Underage DUI there other, less serious, crimes associated with underage drinking. Public Drunkenness, Misrepresentation of Age to Secure Liquor or Brewed Beverages, and Carrying a False Identification Card, just to name a few. It is important to know about the penalties that these offenses carry. Any of these offenses could result in up to a $300 fine, 90 days in jail, and even a three-month license suspension. See this article for more information.
Also, if you are 21 years old, but some of your friends are under 21, there are crimes related to providing alcohol to minors that could be a big problem for you. Furnishing alcoholic beverages to those under 21 years old is a serious offense. It holds a minimum $500 fine and can result in incarceration. You may also have your license suspended for 1 year.
If you have been cited or charged with Underage D.U.I. or a crime associated with underage drinking, Chester County attorney John P. Winicov can help you. He will provide aggressive representation and we will handle your case with the care it deserves.