In the state of Minnesota, there is zero tolerance when it comes to underage
drinking. Anyone under the age of 21 with alcohol in their system is in
violation of the law, regardless of the amount. This means that when driving,
the normal law regarding blood alcohol concentration (BAC) does not apply.
While a driver over 21 can drive with a BAC below .08, a driver under
21 cannot operate a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their
system. Anyone under the age of 21 found driving while intoxicated is
subject to misdemeanor penalties, including fines and the suspension of
If you are under 21 and have been charged with a DWI, or you are the parent of someone under 21 charged with DWI, you need the services of a Minneapolis-based attorney with knowledge and experience. The penalties for this crime can be harsh and it can be difficult reinstating a driver’s license suspended due to an under 21 DWI.
Under 21 DWI Penalties
DWI laws apply to drivers of any age as long as they have an illegal substance in their body while they are operating a motor vehicle. The biggest difference in the law when applied to drivers under 21 is the BAC stipulation. Other factors that differ include:
A driver that is 16 or 17 is charged as an adult rather than a juvenile, meaning they are subject to adult penalties. However, they cannot be incarcerated at adult correctional facilities.
Drivers under 21 cannot possess alcohol with the intent to consume it, purchase it or misrepresent their age in an attempt to purchase it.
Named after Vanessa Weiss, a 15-year-old girl killed in an accident in which she was the passenger of an unlicensed 15 year old driver, Vanessa’s Law was established in 2004. It mandates that anyone driving under the age of 18 while intoxicated must complete the following:
- Delay obtaining their license until the age of 18
- Pay as much as $680 in fines prior to receiving their license
- Successfully complete a knowledge test prior to receiving their license
- Finish a classroom drivers education course
- Pay any other penalties incurred
- Have their permit for at least three months before applying for their drivers license
Minnesota is not flexible about the application of Vannesa’s Law, nor its “Not a Drop” Law regarding drivers under the age of 21. This is why it is so important to contact an experienced DWI lawyer in Minneapolis.
Contact a DWI Lawyer
Whether you are the parents of a young driver charged with DWI or the driver yourself, things can be tense following a DWI charge. That is why a DWI lawyer at Brockton Hunter are available for free consultations. We want to help educate you on your rights and how best to proceed successfully in your case. Call us at 612-874-1625 and find out how our experience, knowledge and skill can benefit your case today.