In 2015, Oregon released a Public Service Announcement campaign to reinforce the incredible dangers of underage drinking. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission and alcoholic beverage company Pernod Ricard joined forces to remind parents of the dangers of underage drinking and that parents should not excuse this behavior. The PSA read as follows:
Underage drinking doesn’t start with a drink. It starts with an excuse. “We drank when we were that young and we turned out okay.” “It’s fine if he takes a sip. My son knows the limit.” “These kids are under so much pressure. I say let’s cut them a break.” “I don’t mind if he’s drinking with his friends. Just as long as they’re doing it at our house.”
This mindset is harmful because it steers away from the fact that underage drinking is dangerous. The most recent campaign targets teens, reminding them that drinking and driving is the ultimate party foul.
Underage drinking is never acceptable for many reasons. AAA released a study that concluded that “people who begin drinking before they’re 15 years old are five times more likely to be alcoholics later in life.” There are many other legal consequences of underage drinking, and we have listed a few of them below.
Consequences of Underage Drinking in Oregon
In most states, a BAC of .08% is the legal limit for adult drivers. Some states even allow up to a .02% BAC level in underage drivers. In Oregon, however, any amount of alcohol in a driver under 21 years of age is illegal.
1. Suspended License
If a minor is charged with a DUII, they will face a one-year license suspension. Unless they are approved for and participate in Oregon’s DUII Diversion Program, the minimum penalty is one year without a driver’s license.
A Class A misdemeanor conviction comes with a $1,000 fine—but you may accrue court charges on top of that.
3. Community Service
For minors, community service is often a result of an underage drinking and driving conviction. 80 hours of community service is a common penalty.
4. Installation of an IID
For more serious DUII charges, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) may be installed in any vehicle operated by the offender. This can remain in place for one year.
5. Transferred Charges
Frequently, underage DUII charges are transferred from the juvenile court to the adult court system, where the penalties can become more expansive. One year in jail, five years of probation, a one-year license suspension, and a $6,250 fine are the maximum penalties for underage DUIIs in an adult court.
Talk to an Attorney
If you or someone you know has been convicted of underage drinking and driving, there are a few things you need to know. Make sure to talk to a Beaverton DUII attorney, and they will help in any way they can. Contact our office right away and let us help you find the best solution.