Bucks County Underage DUI

Each year far too many young people are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents. Many of these accidents are the result of speeding, distracted driving, and driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Those under 21-years-old are prohibited from consuming alcohol in all U.S. states. In Pennsylvania, law enforcement has been dramatically increasing the penalties for those found to be operating under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances (DUI). The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has largely promoted the national “Zero Tolerance” campaign regarding under underage DUI.

Teenagers are among the most likely to be involved in alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Roughly 20% of fatal accidents involving teenagers are alcohol-related. In 2016, over 2,000 teenager drivers were in a fatal crash. In over 50% of fatal accidents, teenagers are not wearing a safety belt and often they are distracted.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol § 3802: Motorists are prohibited from driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol in sufficient quantity to impede their ability to drive safely. A breath test is usually the method for detecting and measuring a driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance § 3802: “Drugged driving” laws prohibit individuals from driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle with controlled substances in their blood. Controlled substances are those classified as Schedule I, II, and III drugs that were not prescribed by a doctor. Also prohibited are “solvent or noxious” substances and metabolites that exist from such substances.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limits

The BAC limit or threshold among adults is .08% and this limit is only .02% for those under 21 years of age. In addition, the laws classify the level of alcohol impairment in general, high, and highest categories for the purposes of penalties. All underage DUI offenders are subject to the penalties associated with the “high rate” category as outlined below.

  • For Minors: .02%
  • General Impairment: .08% - .099%
  • High Level: .10% - .159%
  • Highest Level: Greater than .16%

High Rate BAC .10 to .159%



License Suspension

First Offense

Two Days to Six Months

$500 - $5,000

12 Months

Second Offense

30 Days to Six Months

$750 - $5,000

12 Months

Third Offense

90 Days to Five Years

$1,500 - $10,000

18 Months

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)

Those who are first-time offenders with BAC in the high or highest levels may be eligible for the ARD program. This is a diversionary program that allows offenders to complete a program that will ultimately allow them to request that the court dismiss or expunge the offense. Those who enter the ARD program will be subject to the following:

  • Lose driving privileges for up to a period of 90 days
  • Be placed under supervision (probation) for six months
  • Have fines imposed of between $300 and $5,000
  • Complete a program for drug and/or alcohol treatment
  • Complete an Alcohol Highway Safety School program

Importance of Retaining Legal Representation

Have you been charged with an underage DUI offense? Pennsylvania increases the penalties among underage offenders and requires that jail time and a loss of driving privileges be imposed. In these instances, it is critical to retain seasoned legal counsel to protect your future. Your attorney may be able to identify some potential grounds for dismissal, have the charges reduced through negotiation, or pursue alternative penalties on your behalf.

An Attorney for Underage DUI Offenses in Bucks County

The LLF Law Firm has significant experience in defending against DUI charges and other similar offenses. We are prepared to aggressively defend you and ensure your rights are protected. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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