Underage DUI

Underage DUI

If you or a family member is under the age of 21 and recently been arrested for a DUI, you have probably just learned the State of Nevada has a Zero Tolerance law regarding underage DUI offenses.   Unlike drivers over the age of 21 where the legal limit for BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is .08% for those under 21 the legal limit is .02%.  However due to the Zero Tolerance the district attorney frequently charges minors with Underage DUI regardless who have any trace amount of alcohol in their blood regardless of the BAC level.

This policy may also apply even if the car is parked, and the minor in possession of the keys has been drinking.  Nevada law states simply the person needs “to be in actual physical control of the vehicle”.

If you or a family member has been arrested for Underage DUI, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney, call RENO DUI LAW FIRM at (775) 786-5791.


While an underage driver over the age of consent (18 – 20) arrested for a DUI will be cited with a misdemeanor traffic violation much the way a driver over the age of 21 would be.   Minors under the age of 18 are prosecuted in the juvenile court and the DUI is charged as a felony – a charge that carries more weight and stigma.

The State of Nevada stipulates that as an adult, a person can only be charged as Felony DUI if they have had one or more of the following:

  • 2 prior DUI convictions in the past 7 years
  • Had a prior felony DUI conviction
  • Caused a fatality or serious bodily injury to another

As a result many families decided to have their underage DUI heard as an adult regardless of the age of the driver.  How to handle a juvenile DUI is a big decision, one that can affect the defendant for years to come.

If you or a family member has been arrested for juvenile DUI, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney, call RENO DUI LAW FIRM at (775) 786-5791.


The penalties for an Underage DUI are typically the similar penalties for a standard DUI.  The only difference, besides a lower BAC threshold, is if convicted the minor would be required to submit to an alcohol and drug evaluation as well as face the loss of their license for a minimum of 90 days.

Other penalties are similar, the driver would be sentenced to jail for a sentence of not less than 2 days and not more than 6 months.  Fines would be no less than $400 and no more than $1000.  They would be required to enroll in a Nevada DUI School.

Underage drivers convicted of minor in possession or other alcohol related charges, including trying to purchase alcohol, possession of alcohol, or intoxication and driving may have their license suspended or revoked for 90 days after the first conviction.  If the driver is under the age of 18 or it is a second conviction the license may be suspended or revoked.

If the underage driver has a BAC over .18% or is charged with a second offense, the State of Nevada requires a state certified evaluator must perform a substance abuse evaluation and make a recommendation to the judge, based on their findings.

If you or a family member has been arrested for underage DUI, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney, call RENO DUI LAW FIRM at (775) 786-5791.


Many schools and universities have their own penalties for students or prospective students who are convicted of a DUI.   These consequences on a school level may include suspension, expulsion, disqualification from after school activities and sports as well as trouble getting into colleges.

If you or a family member has been accused of a Underage DUI, call RENO DUI LAW FIRM at (775) 786-5791 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

We will begin building a strategy for your defense immediately. During your first meeting we will meet with both the whole family to discuss with you the charges faced, review the police report, answer any questions you may have, and discuss with you the next step to secure a successful outcome.

In many cases we have been able to have the charges dismissed completely or reduced the lesser charge of reckless driving.  Unlike a DUI charge which will cause a license to be suspended, reckless driving convictions cause +8 demerit points on a DMV record and can be reduced by attending traffic school.  Additionally reckless driving records can be sealed from a criminal record in two years as opposed to seven years for a drunk driving.

You deserve an affordable and experienced DUI attorney who will aggressively defend you and will fight for your rights – at RENO DUI LAW FIRM it’s what we do!