What Are the Consequences of Underage Drinking in Virginia?

handcuffs hanging outside jail cell

If you are caught drinking alcohol in public and you are under the age of 21, the consequences could follow you for the rest of your life. You’ll need an attorney who has experience with underage drinking cases to navigate the court proceedings with you.

Minor vs. Young Adult Alcohol Possession

Depending on age, the severity of punishment for possession or consumption of alcohol can vary widely. For instance, if you are tried in in juvenile court as a minor, your punishment may only be a suspension of driving privileges for 6 months.

Other sentencing for minors includes:

  • being barred from applying for a driver’s license for 6 months (if the minor is under the age of 16);
  • mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program; and
  • time in a juvenile detention facility;

*In some cases, the charges could be dropped completely.

A young adult between the ages of 18 and 20; will be tried as an adult and, therefore, will be subject to more severe sentencing. While they also could get their license suspended for 6 months, the punishments may increase in harshness for adults vs. juveniles.

Young adult sentencing options are:

  • driver’s license revocation for up to 1 year (the court may allow them to continue to drive to work, medical facilities, and places of worship);
  • a fine of at least $500;
  • completion of 50 hours of community service; and
  • formal DUI charges (if caught driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .02 or more).

Contact The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller for a FREE Consultation

If you were recently found in possession of alcohol, or you have an underage child who was charged with possession of alcohol, don’t wait to contact our law firm today. We understand that mistakes happen, especially when influenced by peers, and we firmly believe that these mistakes shouldn’t follow you for the rest of your life. We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Contact our firm today by calling (757) 267-4949 or contact us online for a free consultation.