Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is a serious offense in Minnesota. The legal drinking age in the state is 21. While a person is not considered legally drunk until they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08, it doesn't matter if a person under the age of 21 is .02 or .08; it is a crime. You can be arrested for any alcohol in your system when behind the wheel of a car and this can result in a loss of license, jail time and fines.

First-Time Offenders

Many individuals under the age of 21 are first-time offenders. If you are a first-time offender, then the offense is considered and sentenced as a misdemeanor. Although this does not have the same consequences as a felony, it can still have a penalty of 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. You will also lose your license for six months and no provisional license may be issued. That means you will have to find alternative methods of transportation to school or work. To get your license back, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age

  • Complete a driving instruction course
  • Complete three months of motor vehicle operation under the supervision of another licensed driver
  • Pass the written driver's license exam

Vanessa's Law

Vanessa's Law is named for a 15-year-old girl who was killed in an accident in 2003 in which she was a passenger and just shy of her 16th birthday. This law targets drunk drivers under the age of 18 by imposing a number of unique penalties, such as being unable to obtain a learner's permit until the age of 18. For crash-related violations, teens under the age of 18 are to complete classroom driver's education, hold a learner's permit for three months, pay up to $680 in fees to reinstate their license and retake the written exam. In other words, the process to obtain a license has to be repeated all over again with the addition of fines.

Underage Drinking Defense

It is possible for the charges to be reduced or eliminated. Every aspect of your case is evaluated by your Twin Cities underage drinking defense lawyer. This means that everything from your arrest and the paperwork you must fill out to whether or not your rights were violated in other ways will be looked at. If there is anything that proves your rights were violated, this can have an influence on your case.