Consequences of underage drinking and driving

Teenagers may not always think about the ramifications of drunk driving. It is important for them to understand, though, that teenagers in South Carolina are subject to zero tolerance laws and that receiving an underage DUI can have serious consequences.

Teenagers do not need to have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent to get a DUI. FindLaw says that under zero tolerance laws, teenagers are considered drunk when they have a BAC of 0.02 percent. These laws are intended to keep adolescents safe on the road and can sometimes decrease fatal accidents involving teenagers which occur at night by 20 percent. When a teenager is pulled over while driving, law enforcement typically does not need to demonstrate the driver is drunk. A BAC level above 0.02 percent is enough for young drivers to be given a DUI.

Underage drinking and driving can have long-term consequences. According to The Recovery Village, teenagers may sometimes be expelled from school. They may also encounter difficulties getting a job, as the DUI sometimes appears on background checks. Additionally, some students may receive fewer college scholarships if they have a DUI on their record and may be accepted at fewer schools.

After receiving a DUI, teenagers may need to pay a fine or perform community service. In some cases, an adolescent may be imprisoned if they were at fault for a fatal accident while drunk. Many teenagers are also required to take alcohol education classes. A DUI can also affect a teenager's finances. Because a DUI puts points on a driving record, teenagers may pay more for car insurance.

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