The truth about underage DUI laws

You’ve probably heard a thousand times how the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration is 0.08 in Maryland, as it is all over the United States. You know that blowing a 0.08 or higher on a breath test, after being pulled over, means you’re going to face charges.

If you’re under 21, though, this law doesn’t apply to you. Instead, your legal limit is just 0.02. This is actually a bit generous, as some states outside of Maryland have the limit set at 0.00.

If you’re underage and you’ve had even just a small amount of alcohol, you can’t legally get behind the wheel. Even if you have your own breath test device – ignoring the fact that it may not be accurate – you shouldn’t check your breath and drive as long as you’re under 0.08, or you could still be charged.

Not only would you get a DUI in a situation like this, but you could also get a Minor In Possession charge, depending on the situation.

One of the most important things to note is that many people who blow a 0.02 do not feel drunk in the slightest. You can’t always count on how you feel to tell you whether or not you can legally drive. The limit is set low enough that the alcohol may not have much of an impact on your body at all, but you could still be in violation.

Do not assume that the old standby of 0.08 applies to everyone. Make sure you know exactly how DUI laws apply to you and what legal options you have.

Source: FIndLaw, “Underage DUI: Zero Tolerance Laws,” accessed June 12, 2015