What are the penalties for underage drinking and driving in MN?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Drunk Driving Defense

Parenting is not easy, especially when your child heads for college away from your watchful eye and care. Peer pressure to drink is an unfortunate, but common, aspect of a young college student’s experience.

When the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 became law, Minnesota’s minimum drinking age increased to 21. If you are unsure about the penalties your underage child may face if found drinking and driving, take a look at what Minnesota law says about this situation.

Consequences of a citation

If your child receives a citation for driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level below .08%, they can earn a 90-day stay in jail. A citation for underage drinking and driving may also come with a $700 fine and your child can lose their driving privileges for 30 days.

Penalties for a DWI charge

If your child’s blood alcohol is above .08% and they get a DWI charge, they may receive a one-year jail sentence. A DWI offense has a hefty price tag of $3,000 and can lead to a 180-day suspension of driving privileges.

The lasting impact of underage drinking and driving

Citations and DWI charges remain on your child’s record for a whopping 15 years after the incident, which can follow them after they graduate and potentially affect their ability to obtain employment in their field of study.

The most effective way for your child to avoid the consequences of underage drinking is to abstain from drinking alcohol until they are of legal age and to exercise responsible drinking practices when they are legally allowed to partake. To help protect your child from costly and damaging outcomes, encourage them to hold off on drinking until they reach the milestone age of 21.