If this is the first holiday season since your child has been driving on their own, it’s crucial for them (and you) to remember that they cannot drive with basically any amount of alcohol in their system. Like other states, Pennsylvania has a Zero Tolerance Policy for drivers under 21. That means if they’re pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving and have even a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02%, they can be arrested and charged with DUI.
Even a first-time DUI can seriously affect a young person’s life
Under Pennsylvania law, first-time offenders can face:
- A driver’s license suspension of a year
- A fine of a minimum of $500 up to a maximum of $5,000
- Up to six days in jail
- As much as 150 hours of community service
The penalties only increase with a second or subsequent offense.
That’s a steep price to pay for a bottle of beer at a party or a glass of champagne at a family New Year’s Eve gathering. Of course, parents have to be careful as well. Under the law, you could face a $1,000 fine for allowing any minor to consume alcohol.
Parents can pay a price for serving alcohol to minors
The police certainly aren’t going door-to-door to see if any high school or college kids are having a glass of wine at a family dinner. However, if one of them were to get pulled over afterward or even get a bit rowdy in the neighborhood and get the attention of the police, you could be fined $1,000.
A DUI for a minor isn’t something to be taken lightly. Besides the penalties listed above, a conviction can affect their college and scholarship prospects. If your child is facing a DUI charge, don’t let them go it alone. Having legal guidance can help them get the charge lessened or even dropped.