Anyone who drinks and drives can be arrested on DUI charges, regardless of their age and other factors. However, the laws in the state make it easier for young people to face arrest.
Specifically, Montana uses zero-tolerance laws in regard to underage drinking. For those who are under 21 years old and cannot legally drink, this means that even having the smallest trace of alcohol in your bloodstream can mean that you are subjected to a DUI arrest. Most older adults are held to the standard of 0.08% in terms of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but it is lowered to 0.02% for those who are under 21. For a lot of people, this means that even a portion of a single drink could result in a positive test.
Raising questions about accidental drinking
One thing to consider under these laws is that accidental drinking or unintentional drinking could be even more problematic. A person who accidentally drinks half of a seltzer water without realizing it contains alcohol could suddenly be over the legal limit, even though they are not intoxicated and didn’t mean to drink. You could also have problems with someone who consumes a spiked drink without knowing it. They may not even realize that they consumed alcohol because it’s not affecting their physical and mental abilities in any way, but they could still be over that low BAC limit.
If you are under 21 and you get arrested on DUI charges that you never expected, you need to know about all of your legal defense options. These are still serious charges, even if you didn’t intend to drive drunk, and you need to know exactly where you stand.