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Virginia Amends Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 6-Mar-2008

The General Assembly for the State of Virginia recently amended and reenacted its driving laws relating to underage drinking and driving.   According to House Bill No. 719,  the penalties for underage drinking and driving "provides that "zero tolerance" (0.02% BAC) underage drinking and driving is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.  Currently, the punishment is loss of license and a fine of no more than $500.  This bill provides for a forfeiture of such person’s license to operate a motor vehicle for a period of one year from the date of conviction and a mandatory minimum fine of $250.00.  Punishment set forth in the bill mimics punishment for DUI."

Full details: Section 18.2.266.1 of the code of Virginia

All states have some version of "zero tolerance" laws for underage drinking and driving.  Virginia just took a step to strengthen its laws relating to this on-going problem.

Teenagers may consider drinking as a necessary rite of passage activity to fit in with the crowd.  In reality, teens who drink are endangering themselves and others.  Teens who drink and drive are breaking the law.

Familydoctor.org highlights the dangers of teen drinking in Drinking: It Can Spin Your World Around: Facts for Teens.  The article also includes links to a number of other safety organizations focusing on teens and alcohol. 

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