Underage DUI – What happens if I’m under 21?

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On June 12, 2018

When Can I Start Driving In Oregon?

In Oregon, the legal age to start driving can begin at age 15.  There are a few different licenses that residents may have:

  • Learner’s Permit: minimum age is 15
  • Provisional License: minimum age is 16
  • Unrestricted Driver’s License: minimum age is 18

When Can I Drink Alcohol In Oregon?

While the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years of age, sometimes members of society choose to drink before then.  It is illegal to drink alcohol if you are under 21 years old.  It is also illegal to operate a vehicle under age 21 if you have been drinking alcohol.

What Happens To My License If I Am Arrested for A DUI Before Age 21?

Under the Implied Consent law for failing a breath or blood test, there are strict rules in place for an underage DUI. If you are under 21 your license will be suspended by the DMV under the Implied Consent law at your hearing if your breath test shows any amount of alcohol in your system.  This includes alcohol levels as low as .01%.

What Are Other Consequences For An Underage DUI?

Under the criminal law, there is no age-based difference in the way Oregon law defines a DUI. If there is alcohol in your system and the police office feels this affected your ability to drive responsibly, you can be arrested and cited for a DUI.  These factors will be the same regardless of the age of the person in court:

  1. a person’s minimum blood alcohol content
  2. a person’s Diversion eligibility
  3. a person’s minimum sentencing consequences if convicted of a DUI

There are some counties in Oregon, however, that may treat those under 18 as juveniles rather than adults.  If you are under 21 and tried as a juvenile, you may be able to avoid some of the minimum sentencing requirements.


I Was Arrested For An Underage DUI.  What Do I Do?

If you are under 21 and facing DUI charges in Oregon, call Reynolds Defense Firm at 503.223.3422.  We have a team of DUI attorneys with over 60 years of combined experience who are here to help. Our firm believes everyone who calls deserves a free consultation, so please do not hesitate to contact us.  The Reynolds Defense Firm team is happy to answer all of your questions, and will point you and your family in the right direction so you can sleep better at night.

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