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What happens if I have a DUI and am underage?

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2019 | Criminal Law |

Driving under the influence of alcohol could result in jail time and heavy fines in Montana. However, the consequences could be different if you are under the age of 21. The law has different provisions for underage DUI offenders in addition to those legally allowed to purchase alcohol.

The Alcohol Problems and Solutions Organization states that Montana law only allows underage alcoholic drinking if the parent or guardian supplies the beverage. The law allows for those 18 and over to serve alcohol in a venue or work as bartenders. Purchasing alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal as is using a fake ID to purchase alcoholic beverages.

The state bases their DUI convictions on the blood alcoholic level of the person driving the vehicle. If you are under the age of 21, the illegal BAC level starts at 0.02%. Anything over that level can result in your arrest. Being arrested with a BAC level at 0.08% results in a $300 to $1,000 fine for first-time offenders. In addition, the judge may require you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle to prevent you from even starting the car if you have alcohol on your breath. Not to mention, you could face a 90-day driver’s license suspension and up to six months jail time.

Repeat offenders and those with BAC levels starting at 0.16% can face additional negative consequences from longer jail sentences to higher fines. While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand the process and what to expect.