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Driver's license consequences for underage drinking


There are many laws in Philadelphia designed to protect young people. One of these is the prohibition on underage drinking. The goal of the law is to prevent people who many feel are too irresponsible to drink from consuming alcohol and making poor decisions while intoxicated. While some people disagree with this law and feel like the legal drinking age could be lowered, but the law is still the law. People must obey the law or potentially face the harsh penalties for breaking it.

Many young people may think that underage drinking is not that big a deal, and may think that they will simply pay a fine and move on, but there are other, lesser known, consequences. One of these consequences is that the person will lose his or her driver's license for a period of time.

For a first-time offense, a person will lose a license for 90 days. If there is a second offense, the penalty is a one year suspension, and it will be suspended for two years if it is a third or subsequent offense. These license suspensions will be imposed whether the person was driving when the offense occurred or not. In addition to the suspension, the person will have to pay a reinstatement fee prior to receiving the license back after the suspension period expires.

In addition to fines and license suspensions, minors convicted under this law will also have a criminal record which can have long-term consequences for them that can affect their ability to enter into schools of their choice or obtain certain employment.

Many people in Philadelphia may drink before they are 21 years old and not think it is a very big deal. The consequences can be severe, however. In addition to fines, there are license suspensions and long-term consequences the person may face. However, this is only if the person is convicted. There may be defenses available to the person so he or she can potentially avoid these harsh penalties.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, "PA Driver's Manual - Chapter 4: Driver Record Information", accessed Oct. 31, 2016

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