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Underage: DUI and other alcohol-related offenses

With a wide variety of colleges and universities in Loudoun County and within a 50-mile radius of Leesburg, there are many opportunities for students and other young people to get together and enjoy evenings and weekends. In some of those situations, alcohol can be available to people under the age of 21.

When youth and alcohol are combined, the result can sometimes be a DUI arrest. As regular readers know, Virginia has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. The harsh penalties can slam the brakes on future educational opportunities and job prospects.

The Commonwealth of Virginia makes it clear that it takes underage drinking and underage DUI violations seriously. For instance, if you are under our legal drinking age (21), and you buy, possess or consume alcohol, you could face up to a year in jail. Fines for the violation range from $500 to $2,500 and you also face mandatory driver’s license suspension of a minimum of six months.

If you drink or possess alcohol on public school grounds, you can face up to six months in jail no matter how young or old you might be.

And if you’re under 21 and you use, or try to use a fake ID to buy or drink alcohol, you will be required to perform at least 50 hours of community service or pay a fine of at least $500. Again, you will also face the possibility of up to a year in jail, as well as a mandatory minimum six-month driver’s license suspension.

As for an underage DUI – driving under the influence of alcohol (0.08 percent blood alcohol content or higher) or drugs – a conviction can result in the same stiff penalties as those drivers 21 or older can expect.

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