Whether you have a teen who drives and you worry about their alcohol consumption or you are a young driver under the age of 21, it is important to recognize the laws in Maryland regarding underage alcohol use and operating a vehicle. Underage DUI charges turn lives upside down in many ways, from problems at school to a shattered reputation, family issues, the loss of driving privileges and career problems later on.
If you are facing underage DUI charges, or you have a child in this position, make sure you carefully pore over legal options to protect your future or your child’s future.
Underage drinking and the BAC limit
It is very important to note that the blood alcohol content level limit for drivers under the age of 21 is lower than for drivers over 21. According to the Alcohol Policy Information System, drivers under the age of 21 cannot operate a vehicle with any level of alcohol in their system. In other words, drivers under 21 with a BAC over 0.0 (having any alcohol detected in their blood) could face DUI charges if stopped by a law enforcement official.
Underage DUI charges are especially challenging
There are various reasons why underage DUI charges are particularly tough to deal with. Sometimes, young drivers lack access to legal information and resources to defend themselves. Some young drivers are falsely accused of driving drunk, which is especially likely with this zero-tolerance policy.
If underage DUI charges have arisen and you have concerns about the case or your future, make sure you examine all options on the table and go over your rights.