Underage Drinking and Driving
Underage drinking and driving is a serious offense and can negatively affect the rest of your life. Some experts have found that underage DUI incurs a conservative cost of $40,000 over the next decade, or more, of the person’s life.
The drinking age in South Carolina is 21, and South Carolina has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking. An underage person driving with any amount of alcohol in their system is guilty of DUI, which comes with serious consequences. After the first DUI conviction, jail time between 2 and 30 days may be served, fines may be incurred starting at $400 and your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months. After the second conviction, an underage DUI offender will face 5 days to one year in prison, fines exceeding $2100 and a license suspension of at least one year. These are serious consequences that should not be taken lightly.
Usually, underage drinkers are guilty of other infractions in addition to their DUI charge. Soliciting alcohol, minor in possession, possession of false identification, and any other moving violations may be relevant charges in a DUI arrest that can compound with your DUI consequences.
Underage drinkers are usually already paying high insurance premiums because of their youth and relative inexperience on the road. However, a DUI can cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. The increased premiums may last for up to five years, and in some cases may last even longer. Furnishing an SR-22 certificate may also be a requirement and it is possible that an insurance company may decide not to insure you after all.
If you have been charged with underage drinking and driving, it is essential to contact an attorney right away. Underage DUI is a charge that can affect the rest of your life, especially during a time in your life when you may be in a tenuous financial situation or an unstable family situation.