Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21 (Underage DWI)

Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21 (Underage DWI)

In North Carolina, if an individual is under the age of 21 it is against the law for them to drive a motor vehicle on a public street, highway or vehicular area after consuming any amount of alcohol or other controlled substance. Depending upon the facts of the case, you can also be charged with the Driving While Impaired (DWI). The punishments for a conviction of driving after consuming can be very similar to a DWI conviction and may negatively affect your drivers license and future goals in an individuals career.

In a case of Driving After consuming the State of North Carolina must prove that the driver had consumed alcohol or a controlled substance in order to obtain a conviction for Driving after Consuming Under the Age of 21. If you are stopped by a police offer for drinking and driving you are subject to the North Carolina’s Implied-Consent Law. Based upon the North Carolina law, any person who drives a vehicle on a public street, highway or vehicular area gives implied consent to a chemical analysis.

After being stopped by the Police, any law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that the person stopped has committed an implied-consent offense may obtain a chemical analysis of that person. A person may refuse any test but your Driver’s License may be revoked for a year and under certain circumstances may be revoked for a longer period of time. An officer may be able to compel you to be tested after obtaining a valid search warrant for blood or urine samples.

Generally, an odor of alcoholic beverage on the breath of a driver alone is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that during the time the driver was operating the motor vehicle that the alcohol remained in the driver’s body. Typically, an alcohol screening test, breathalyzer or intoxilyzer breath test, can be administered to the driver that is being stopped on suspicion of driving after consuming under the age of 21 and the results of those test may be used by a law enforcement officer or a court to determine that alcohol was present. This information may be used by the court to pursue the charge of driving after consuming under the age of 21.

Punishment and other Implications:


Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21 is a Class 2 Misdemeanor. An individual may be charged with both Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21 and Driving While Impaired. If you are convicted of Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21, your driver’s license may be revoked for up to a year. A conviction of Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21 can carry very serious consequences on automobile insurance rates.

Charged with Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21


Hall & Dixon, PLLC can help. Our criminal defense attorneys know the ins and outs of North Carolina’s Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21 law. We’ll examine the details of your criminal case carefully and make sure all proper legal procedures were followed during your arrest or citation. If we find any evidence that can be used in support of your criminal defense, we’ll make note of it and present it the court.

You can rely on our team of dedicated criminal defense attorneys to negotiate with the judge on your behalf and do everything possible to reduce the effects and consequences of a criminal conviction. Schedule a FREE consultation for your Misdemeanor or Felony criminal charge by calling or texting 704-993-6825.

Ready to hire Hall and Dixon Criminal Defense Attorneys? Simply click the link below to fill out our criminal intake and a member of our team will reach out to you!