If you, or a loved one, was charged with a DUI and are under the legal drinking age of 21, now is the time to contact an experienced and aggressive Fairfax County DUI defense lawyer. Why? Because a DUI conviction can haunt a young motorist for decades and seriously harm their future prospects.
Legal Drinking Age in Virginia
It is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol and drive with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.02 or higher in Virginia. This offense is categorized as a class 1 misdemeanor, which means it is the most serious type of misdemeanor under the Virginia Code.
Field Sobriety Test
If you were stopped by a police officer in Fairfax County based upon potential drunken driving, there is a good chance you will be subjected to a field sobriety test. A police officer conducts a field sobriety test to gather evidence that the motorist was impaired and that impairment was due to consuming alcohol or drugs.
If your BAC was over 0.02, but below 0.08, the potential penalties associated with a DUI conviction include:
- Monetary fine of up to $500
- Having to serve up to 50 hours of community service
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Having to pay and attend a Virginia Alcohol Safety Action program
And this list is generally for first-time underage DUI offenders. The penalties may escalate if you have a prior DUI conviction on your record. Also, if your BAC level was found to be over 0.08, the penalties will be the same as those for an adult.
Building a Strong Defense with a Fairfax County DUI Lawyer
As you can see, the potential penalties associated with a DUI conviction are quite serious, which is why it makes sense to meet with an attorney to discuss your legal options. There may be viable defenses to contest the DUI charge. For example, the Fairfax police officer must have had a legitimate reason to stop and pull over your vehicle. This means if you were stopped simply because it was late at night or the officer was curious to discover where you were going, the subsequent sobriety test and arrest could be deemed invalid and that evidence thrown out of court.
Another potential defense is challenging the outcome of the officer’s field sobriety test. It is important to understand that these sobriety tests, even when conducted precisely, are subjective and possess a fairly large margin of error.
If the Commonwealth Attorney cannot prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt, or evidence from the traffic stop is thrown out, it could potentially lead to a dismissal of all charges.
Charged with Underage DUI? Take Action by Contacting Fairfax DUI Defense Lawyer at Dua Law Firm Today
It is extremely important to fight a DUI charge and avoid conviction. Why? Because a conviction will remain on your record and could impact your auto insurance and employment opportunities many years down the road. A skilled and experienced Fairfax DUI defense lawyer with the Dua Law Firm understands the stress and concern that is a result of facing criminal charges, and you can be confident that will fight aggressively in your defense. If you are underage and were arrested and charged with DUI, take action by contacting our office today.