The Pennsylvania DUI Statute is located at 75 Pa.C.S.A. Sec 3802. The Law is uniform in that it sets forth that an individual may not operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level greater than .08%, under the influence of drugs, or with any illegal drugs in the system. The “grading” section that a court uses for sentencing is located at Sec. 3804. Its pretty simple…you do something that violates Sec 3802, then you get sentenced using the 3804 section. But the PA dui lawyer knows that lurking, tucked away in the 3802 section, is the dreaded Section 3802(e), better known as the “DUI Minor” provision.
Quite simply, this portion of the laws applies different guidelines for those individuals who are under 21 years old and operate a motor vehicle. Firstly, the blood alcohol limit for an under 21 year old driver is .02%. This basically means that if you just sniff a beer and get behind the wheel then you are violating the DUI Minor law. There is a mandatory one year drivers license suspension for ALL minors convicted of DUI. As a Montgomery County juvenile lawyer, I can tell you that DUIs are handled in juvenile court if the driver is under 18 years of age. In juvenile court, there is no finding of “guilt”. The youth is “adjudicated delinquent” and his license is suspended for a year like an adult. If under 16 years of age, the minor must wait a year before he or she can get their license. Additionally, minors over 18 are eligible for ARD but are treated differently then adults.
If you, or your son or daughter, has been cited with a DUI and is under 21 years of age, it is important to contact a Montgomery County DUI lawyer who is well versed in the DUI Minor portion of the law. There are defenses available and one would do well to explore them before pleading guilty.