person opening a beer bottle while behind the wheel

Teenage drinking is increasingly common, as many young adults will engage in this behavior as an act of rebellion or to fit in with their peers. While this is dangerous on its own, the risk drastically increases when a new driver gets behind the wheel with alcohol in their system. Unfortunately, many fatal accidents for those under 21 are caused by drunk drivers. To combat this, Georgia and other states enacted a zero-tolerance policy for underage drivers. Keep reading to learn what you must know about the different BAC limits those under 21 have and how a Cobb County DUI lawyer can help you.

What Should Underage Drivers Know About DUIs?

Across the United States, the legal limit for alcohol in someone’s system is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. Anyone at or over this limit will face a DUI charge. It’s important to note that if someone’s BAC is less than 0.08% but they still have alcohol in their system, they can still face charges if the officer believes their driving ability is impacted by the presence of alcohol.

Underage drivers, on the other hand, have a different set of rules they must adhere to. Georgia has a Zero Tolerance Law for those under 21 who drive with alcohol in their system. As such, anyone under 21 with a BAC of 0.02%, which is considerably lower than 0.08%, will face a DUI charge. This is because it is illegal for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol, let alone get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking.

What Are the Penalties for Those Under 21 Charged With a DUI?

The penalties for a Zero Tolerance Policy DUI charge can be severe, as they act as a deterrent to prevent teens and young adults from engaging in this behavior and repeating these actions. As such, a driver convicted will face a license suspension for three months, a $300 fine, and mandatory participation in an alcohol harm reduction program.

Additionally, there are other repercussions one can face as a result. This includes losing their job because they cannot drive to work, having a challenging time getting other employment, losing friends and family, and higher insurance rates which place additional financial stress on drivers.

What Should I Do if I’m Facing Charges?

If you are under 21 or your minor child was charged with a DUI, understanding how to proceed is critical to doing everything possible to protect your future. The most important thing you must do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.

At the Miller Law Practice, we understand how complex these matters can be. As such, our team is dedicated to doing everything possible to represent you in these difficult times. Reach out to our team today to learn how we can assist you.