Passengers in Underage DUI
DUI while under the legal drinking age is not the only way to get into extra trouble.
Drinking drivers under 21 who get behind the wheel put everyone’s safety in jeopardy, whether they are in the same car or elsewhere on the road. And when they are pulled over, questioned by police and charged with underage DUI, they face a host of criminal consequences. But even passengers who only got into the car with a legally intoxicated driver may face charges.
The legal drinking age in Pennsylvania is 21. Passengers under the age of 21 who are found to have been drinking may face criminal charges as well. Police may determine that you have lied about your age in order to obtain alcohol, perhaps through use of a fake ID, or you may be charged with possessing or transporting alcohol. Depending on the circumstances, police may also cite you for public drunkenness.
Underage drinking incurs its own host of penalties for a first offense, such as:
- A fine of up to $500 plus court costs
- A license suspension for 90 days
- Completion of an alcohol awareness or abuse program
- A fee to restore your license once your suspension is complete
Additionally, if you are under 16 years old, you may be made ineligible to obtain your driving permit until the term of suspension is complete.
It is up to you to know and understand Pennsylvania’s underage drinking laws. Even if you weren’t driving at the time of arrest, your license will be suspended if you are convicted of underage drinking.