What are the consequences of underage DUI in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Underage drinking and driving pose significant threats, leading to dire consequences for young individuals and their families. In Alexandria, Virginia, the legal ramifications for underage drivers with any detectable alcohol in their system are stringent. They include license suspension, fines, community service and potentially even incarceration.


Virginia maintains a zero-tolerance law for underage drivers. These are drivers under 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02% or more. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor, the gravest misdemeanor in our state.

Penalties for violating this law include license suspension for up to one year and a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or 50 hours of community service. Conviction also includes possible enrollment in an Alcohol Safety Action Program. This can include alcohol abuse education, counseling and treatment. It can also include the potential issuance of a restricted driver’s license, which limits driving to specific purposes like work, school, medical appointments, etc.

Over 0.08% BAC

In cases where an underage driver’s BAC exceeds 0.08%, they may face additional charges. This, in turn, leads to more severe repercussions, such as license revocation, fines up to $2,500, jail time and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.

Personal consequences

Beyond legal ramifications, underage drinking and driving yield personal consequences affecting your education, career prospects, health and overall well-being. A criminal record limits your options for college admission, including ways to pay for college like scholarships, grants, etc. It also limits your employment and housing options.

DUIs have other monetary effects. It can elevate insurance premiums or can cause your insurance company to drop you entirely. You will also have to deal with the legal costs of your case.

Beyond these consequences, there are emotional and psychological impacts. First, if you were involved in a crash that resulted in the injuries of another, that does not go away. And, it can personally cause PTSD. You will also navigate life with the social stigma associated with being labeled a drunk driver.


Underage drinking and driving represent a grave concern in Alexandria, Virginia, with far-reaching consequences. Adhering to legal age restrictions, abstaining from alcohol and promoting responsible behaviors can safeguard young individuals from the severe penalties and personal toll associated with this perilous activity.