Those charged with DUI under the age of 21 fall into a special category called underage DUI. In Rhode Island, the bar for blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC, is 0.02% as opposed to 0.08% for those above 21 years of age.
While not a criminal offense, a person may still be punished with:
- $250 fine and 30 days of community restitution
- Suspension of driver’s license for one to three months and attendance of a driving course
- Attending an alcohol and/or drug treatment program
- For subsequent violations: up to $250 in fines, another $300 highway safety assessment, up to 60 hours of community restitution, and 3-month license suspension
Having a blood alcohol of more than 0.08% can result in actual misdemeanor or felony charges which can include jail time and a longer suspension of your driver’s license.
Further consequences can come from your police stop including soliciting alcohol, minor in possession of alcohol, or possession of false identification which carry additional consequences.
On top of this, many car insurance companies will choose to terminate or refuse to renew your policy after an underage DUI conviction. Other companies will simply increase monthly premiums by hundreds of dollars to offset the higher risk you pose as the insured. You could be forced to obtain special SR-22 insurance and present it to the DMV in order to have your driver’s license reinstated after your suspension is over.
Other penalties can come later on from an underage DUI conviction. A young person could find it extremely difficult to find a job or get into college with such a serious offense on their record.
If you or a loved one has been accused of underage DUI, you should reach out to The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq. for experienced legal counsel.