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What are Virginia's under-21 drinking laws?

You're not 21, but you're over 18 and feel like you should be able to drink. While it's long been argued that those 18 and older should be able to drink, the law currently states otherwise. If you're caught, you can be charged for possessing and drinking alcohol.

If you are caught, it's important to defend yourself right away. Virginia's laws are strict, and you could face some serious penalties and possibly time in jail.

Is Virginia a zero-tolerance state?

Virginia has a zero-tolerance law. According to the law, those under the age of 21 may not purchase, possess or consume alcohol. The legal limit is .02 percent, so there is a small amount of leeway for eating food that contains alcohol or taking medications that may contain a small amount of alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

If you are stopped because the police suspect that you are driving while intoxicated, then you could have your license suspended. If convicted, you may have to complete up to 50 hours of community service and pay a fine of at least $500. The fine can be as much as $2.500. Your license suspension may last up to a year.

What happens if you're caught drinking at school?

You may face additional penalties if you are caught drinking on school grounds. Possessing or drinking on school grounds leads to fines of up to $1,000 and can result in up to six months in jail no matter how old you are.

No matter what your situation is, you have a right to defend yourself. Your attorney can help you find a way to do so.

Source: Virginia.Gov, "Virginia is tough on drunk and drugged drivers," accessed Sep. 01, 2017

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