Most teens see driving as a right of passage here in Virginia. But the state doesn't see driving as a right, it sees it as a privilege. Because it's considered a privilege, law enforcement can hinder a young person's ability to drive if they violate the law. Unfortunately, this is a hard lesson to learn, especially because most young people do not have enough life experience to help them avoid making these mistakes in the first place.
One example of this is drinking and driving. Though adults are very familiar with the consequences of a DUI, perhaps through experience or because they've heard it talked about all their lives, young people oftentimes do not realize the trouble they could face if they choose to drink and drive. In today's post, we'd like to outline the consequences a young person could face in the hopes of giving them the experience they need to avoid this mistake down the road.
The first lesson a young person needs to keep in mind is that Virginia is a zero-tolerance state. This means that any person under the age of 21 who consumes alcohol is committing an illegal act. Choosing to operate a motor vehicle after illegally consuming alcohol only exacerbates the situation.
In our state, an under-21 individual who is stopped for drunk driving will likely be asked to take a breath test. If that individual blows a BAC of at least .02, they could face license suspension and a mandatory minimum fine of $500. Instead, though, a judge could order the offending young person to no less than 50 hours of community service.
Though it's considered human nature to learn from our mistakes, living with a criminal record because of a mistake is not the way in which most parents would want their children to learn. Hopefully our post will stand as a teaching tool instead.