Get a Ticket While Under 21?

Wake County Traffic Lawyers of Kurtz & Blum Discuss Unique Issues that Arise for Drivers Who Are Under 21 Years Old 

Driving in North Carolina under the age of 21 means you prescribe to certain special rules.  The most important of these rules is that unlike drivers over the age of 21, a driver who is under 21 cannot have any blood alcohol content (BAC) while driving.  At and over the age of 21, the legal limit is a BAC of 0.08.  Thus, for anyone 21 and over, it is not illegal to drink and drive.  It is only illegal to drink and drive if an individual over 21 has a BAC at 0.08 or over.
 
If under 21, it is illegal to drive with any BAC whatsoever.  If a police officer can gather any evidence to show that a person under 21 has consumed alcohol or any other impairing substance, they will be charged with Driving After Consuming Alcohol While Under 21.  Please visit our DWI section for more information on driving while impaired.

Aside from DWI, there are a number of other traffic laws that specifically govern new teenaged drivers.  North Carolina utilizes a graduated licensing system that is designed to allow new drivers practice at the wheel while keeping them safe through restrictions, education, and experience.  The levels are:

  • Level 1 – Limited Learner’s Permit
  • Level 2 – Limited Provisional License
  • Level 3 – Full Provisional License

The first level in the graduated licensing system is a limited learner’s permit.  A learner’s permit can be obtained between the ages of 15 and 18, and it requires a supervising driver in the passenger seat who must have had their license for at least five years.  For the first six months, the permit holder may only drive between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.  After the first six months, the permit holder may drive at any time provided the supervising driver is present.
 
Before graduating to a Level 2 provisional license the permit must have been held for one year and have gone the six months prior to application without a conviction for a moving violation, seat belt infraction, or cell-phone violation.  A provisional license only allows driving between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. without a supervising driver (unless driving to or from work or volunteer rescue services).  In addition, the limited license only allows driving of one other person under the age of 21.  Immediate family members under the age of 21 are allowed, but no other individuals under 21 years of age. 

Finally, the full provisional license eliminates all supervising and time limitations.  A driver under the age of 21 with a full provisional license only faces specific rules in the form of the Driving After Consuming Alcohol While Under 21 law.
 
Regardless of what driving level or age an individual may fall under, the use of a cell-phone or other related electronic devices is prohibited except in emergency situations.

The attorneys at Kurtz & Blum have handled all the manner of traffic cases.  If you are under 21 and have been charged or ticketed, please contact us with any questions.

Our traffic attorneys help people throughout Wake County, North Carolina.  We frequently handle offenses arising out of the following cities: Knightdale, Cary, Wendell, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Zebulon, New Hope, Apex, Holly Springs, Rolesville, Morrisville, Wake Forest and Raleigh.