It's really not that big of deal, right? After all, it is just one drink. Making the decision to drink alcohol with your friends seems harmless, but doing so when you're underage can have disastrous consequences that can last for years.
South Carolina has strict drinking laws for minors. Blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above .02 percent is considered illegal and can lead to a DUI charge. Considering that for adults, the legal limit is .08, minors have very little leeway when it comes to their alcohol indulgence. If convicted, a minor can spend up to 30 days in jail for a first offense, upwards of $400 in fines, and a suspended license for six months. Second offenses are only treated more harshly.
The unfortunate reality is that alcohol offenses aren't just relegated to driving. Minors can be arrested for possessing alcohol, distributing it to other minors, and using a fake ID for purchases. There is no question that law enforcement wants to eliminate the problem of underage drinking once and for all.
Is it really that big of a deal?
As a young person, the penalties for underage drinking might not seem all that bad in the long run. But when you do a little digging, the consequences are actually much farther reaching. Employment opportunities may diminish when evidence of a criminal record appears and even college applications become weightier if you've been convicted of underage drinking.
The moral of the story: something you choose to do in your youth can haunt you as an adult for years. Even if all your friends are choosing to indulge, it is best to say no. Our firm knows how damaging a criminal record can be to a young person and wants to help you protect your future.
If you are facing charges, please don't hesitate to consult with a Columbia DUI lawyer from Masella Law Firm, P.A. We dedicate ourselves fully to each case we take on and fight aggressively on behalf of our clients. Call us today to learn more about how we may be able to help.