Raleigh DWI Lawyer—Consequences of Underage DWI in North Carolina

The North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission will launch an initiative in February to reduce underage drinking that focuses on reversing a culture which accepts such drinking as a rite of passage.

“This won’t happen in two or three years,” Jim Gardner, chairman of the three-member commission, said Wednesday. “It’s got to be on a continuing basis. It’s going to take a long time, but we’re going to move very aggressively.

The North Carolina Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking is modeled after a similar effort that began in Utah about a decade ago and has since reduced underage drinking by 25 percent.

“They have had some dramatic results,” Gardner said. “Our job is going to be much tougher, but we’ve got to show similar results here or it won’t continue.”

The initiative to be launched by the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission is a laudable one, and a welcome development for many of the Tar Heel State’s residents. According to Gardner, the ABC Commission plans to “develop and promote legislation, policies and programs that reduce underage drinking.” Although this news is a very good one for most, this may not be the case for an underage driver charged with a DWI.

The legal drinking age in North Carolina is 21 years old. There are exceptions in which an underage person is allowed to drink, namely: for religious purposes (drinking wine in a religious ceremony), for medical purposes (a patient receiving medical treatment), and for educational purposes (tasting alcohol at a culinary school). However, it is not acceptable for anyone—underage or otherwise—to drive while intoxicated.

North Carolina has some of the strictest laws for underage DWI. The Tar Heel State has a zero-tolerance policy for such cases—Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) for those under 21 years is 0.00%. Furthermore, law enforcement officers do not have to prove that someone under the age of 21 actually be intoxicated if operating a motor vehicle to be charged with DWI. The laws for underage drinkers are much stricter.

If your child has been charged with a DWI, you need to discuss your situation with an experienced DWI lawyer. Penalties for underage DWI include driver’s license revocation, large fines, and in some cases even jail time. A conviction will appear on the driver’s record and the penalties can affect nearly every aspect of a young person’s life.

A trusted DWI lawyer in Raleigh at Kurtz & Blum, PLLC can answer your important questions about DWI cases and provide an aggressive defense for you and your child. Give us a call today at 919-832-7700.

(Article Information and Image from ABC Commission to Launch Initiative to Curb Underage Drinking, Dec. 4, 2013)