Delaware’s Underage DUI Laws

How Delaware’s drunk driving laws apply to drivers who are under 21 years old and the consequences of an underage DUI.

In Delaware, drivers who are under the legal drinking age (21 years old) are prohibited from operating a vehicle after consuming any alcohol. Underage drivers who are caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or more within four hours of driving are presumed to be in violation of this zero-tolerance law.

Underage DUI Penalties

Generally, an underage DUI results in loss of driving privileges for two months for a first offense and not less than six months for subsequent offenses. And, if the driver is unlicensed, a first offense carries a fine of $200 for a first offense and $400 to $1,000 for subsequent offenses.

Underage drivers are subject to the state's implied consent laws, meaning they're required to submit to alcohol testing when lawfully requested to do so by an officer. Underage drivers who unlawfully refuse testing face license revocation of at least two months.

When Underage Drivers Face Standard DUI Penalties

Underage drivers who are caught operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or more or while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol face the standard DUI penalties. Depending on the circumstances, someone convicted of a standard DUI could be looking at fines, jail time, and license suspension.

Talk to an Attorney

Regardless of the charge, it's always best to talk to an experienced DUI attorney if you've been cited for driving under the influence. A qualified lawyer can tell you how the law applies to your situation and help you decide on the best course of action.

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