Oct 05, 2017 Virginia DUI lawyer on driving after drinking under 21
As a Virginia DUI lawyer/ criminal attorney, I know how draconian and antithetical to a free society are the Virginia DUI laws and the rest of the nation’s drinking and driving laws, and how much unfairly harsher those laws are on drivers under 21 years old.
Virginia DUI laws are stricter than otherwise, for those under 21
Did you know that in Virginia it is a crime jailable up to one year for an adult under 21 years old to drive with a breath/blood alcohol level of 0.02 or higher? Va. Code § 18.2-266.1. That is one-fourth the 0.08 legal limit for drivers at least twenty-one years old. Va. Code § 18.2-266. That is nuts, wrongheaded, beyond draconian, and antithetical to welcoming adults under 21 to join and fight in the military, but to be treated as substandard adults in this way, and also with the laws banning alcohol purchases for adults under 21.
But wait, this state of affairs gets worse, with zero tolerance: “It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to operate any motor vehicle after illegally consuming alcohol.”
This legal scheme is named by some with the demeaning phrase of “baby DWI”, but I will call it the .02 snafu. Punishment for violating the 0.02 snafu law “shall include (i) forfeiture of such person’s license to operate a motor vehicle for a period of one year from the date of conviction and (ii) a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or performance of a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service.” Va. Code § 18.2-266.1.
Beware driving within 24 hours of drinking beer, wine or alcohol.
This Orwellian state of affairs is the law in Virginia, meaning that those drivers under 21 should not drive in the Commonwealth within 24 hours of drinking beer, wine or other alcohol, and for many hours before driving should stay away from alcohol-based topical substances (for instance many sunscreens), bread (for its yeast), and other substances that might register alcohol in an alcohol breath testing machine.
This 0.02 snafu law has been in place for over twenty years in Virginia. May this law go the extinct way of the 78 RPM phonograph record.
Virginia DUI lawyer/ Fairfax criminal attorney Jon Katz has successfully defended hundreds of DUI defendants since 1991. He is ready to discuss your case in confidence, by your scheduling an appointment through his staff, at 703-383-1100.