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Underage Drinking Laws And Zero-Tolerance DUI Laws

Maryland laws allow underage drinking on private non-alcohol selling premises with parental consent and also for religious reasons. However, under no circumstances do Maryland laws allow underage individuals to drink and drive.

Maryland passed a Zero Tolerance law in 1989 that prohibited drivers under the age of 21 from drinking and driving. Authorities charge someone under 21 with DUI (driving under the influence) when their blood-alcohol content (BAC) tests at .02 percent or higher. The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration (ADAA) indicates that under per se law, a minor drinking and driving with BAC testing higher than .00 violates the law. Minimum license suspension or revocation is for 30 days and maximum is for 90 days for minors with BAC over .00.

According to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA),the highest risk group for vehicle fatalities is the 15 to 20 age group, and 70 percent of these fatalities involve alcohol use. Consequently, underage drivers face many of the same penalties for underage drinking and driving as adults do when convicted of DUI. Penalties for first offense DUIs are up to one year in jail, a maximum of $1,000 in fines and a 45-day license suspension. Insurance rates increase and a criminal record can limit opportunities for college or employment.

Do not resign yourself to DUI conviction. You can obtain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight for your teenager. Effective defense strategies often result in dropped or reduced charges, case dismissal or acquittal. Errors in BAC testing, false positive Breathalyzer tests or a lack of probable cause to stop are challenges to the prosecution’s case that attorneys frequently use to win cases.

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