Being arrested for DUI when you are under the age of 21 can be a scary experience.

If you or a loved one are being accused of driving under the influence in Pennsylvania then you are likely wondering what will happen next and what the potential consequences may be.

We are here to help answer these questions and assist you through the entire DUI process.

But before going any further, it is important to know that just because you were arrested for an underage DUI does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted of the charges.

Our DUI defense lawyers are experienced in successfully defending the rights of individuals who have been arrested for underage DUI in Pennsylvania.  

Read below to learn more about drunk driving laws in Pennsylvania and how we can help you fight for a positive outcome after a DUI arrest.

Arrested For An Underage DUI In Pennsylvania?

PA has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving.

Any driver under the age of 21 who is found to be driving with a BAC of .02% or more can be arrested for driving under the influence – no exceptions.

Note that the .02% legal limit for drivers under the age of 21 is much lower than the .08% legal limit for standard motorists in PA.

Penalties For A Drunk Driving Conviction

Regardless of whether you were arrested for drunk driving or driving under the influence of a controlled substance, you will likely be facing a long list of penalties.

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania will vary depending two main factors:

  1. A driver’s alleged BAC at the time of driving
  2. Any previous DUI convictions that the driver has

1st Offense Underage DUI

If you haven’t been convicted of a DUI in the past then you will be facing a first offense underage DUI charge.

The specific penalties that you face will depend on your alleged BAC:

With High Intoxication (BAC of .02% – .159%)
  • 2 days to 6 months in prison
  • 12 month license suspension
  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
With Highest Intoxication (BAC of .16%+ or Controlled Substance)
  • 30 days to 6 months in prison
  • 12 month license suspension
  • $750 to $5,000 fine
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety school

2nd Offense Underage DUI

If you’ve been arrested and convicted for a DUI before then you will be facing a second offense underage DUI charge.

Again, the specific penalties associated with your DUI arrest will depend on your alleged level of intoxication:

With High Intoxication (BAC of .02% – .159%)
  • 30 days to 6 months in prison
  • 12 month license suspension
  • $750 to $5,000 fine
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
With Highest Intoxication (BAC of .16%+ or Controlled Substance)
  • Misdemeanor of the first degree
  • 90 days to 6 months in prison
  • 18 month license suspension
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety school

3rd Offense Underage DUI

If you’ve been convicted of intoxicated driving twice before then you will be facing a third offense DUI charge.

Depending on your alleged blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when you were driving you will face several penalties:

With High Intoxication (BAC of .02% – .159%)
  • 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 90 days to 5 years in prison
  • 18 month license suspension
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
With Highest Intoxication (BAC of .16%+ or Controlled Substance)
  • 1st degree misdemeanor
  • 1 year to 5 years in prison
  • 18 month license suspension
  • $2,500 to $10,000 fine
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety school

Other Potential Consequences Of A Conviction

As you can see, the minimum penalties for an underage DUI conviction can be severe. But the story doesn’t end there.

In addition to the standard penalties mentioned above, you will find that there are many other potential consequences of an underage DUI conviction that you may not be thinking of at the moment including:

  • Potential loss of scholarship: Colleges and universities can revoke scholarships for students who are convicted of DUI.
  • Auto insurance problems: A DUI conviction can result in you being denied auto insurance or an increased insurance premium.
  • Employment / work issues: Employees may deny you employment due to a DUI conviction. Additionally, your license suspension can make it difficult to get to a job which can have negative impacts on your employment.
  • Permanent criminal record: A DUI conviction will appear on your permanent criminal record which can be accessed through a routine background check by employers, banks, universities and friends.

Exploring Alternative Legal Options

If you or a loved one were recently arrested for an underage DUI then you need to take immediate action to protect your future.

Many people mistakenly believe that a DUI arrest automatically results in a DUI conviction with the standard penalties mentioned above.

But this is simply not true.

Challenging Your DUI

An experienced DUI defense lawyer can often to challenge a DUI arrest in order to obtain a positive outcome.

There are many challenges that can be made to a DUI arrest in Pennsylvania:

  • Did the officer have sufficient reason to pull you over in the first place?
  • Were you read your Miranda rights during the arrest?
  • Was the field sobriety test and/or chemical test administered correctly?

These are just a few of the challenges that can be made to a DUI arrest with the help of a DUI lawyer.

The legal limit is so low for drivers under the age of 21 that it may be possible that a medication or other factor could have resulted in an inaccurate BAC reading, even if you were not consuming alcohol.

Consult A DUI Lawyer In Pennsylvania

Our experienced DUI defense lawyers have successfully obtained positive outcomes for many individuals arrested for drunk driving in the past.

We represent clients throughout the entire State of Pennsylvania including those in Chester County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Delaware County and other areas.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and how we can help.