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A conviction for underage DUI can affect your future plans

You may think there is nothing wrong with having a couple of drinks with friends before driving home. You may also think that even if you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, it is no big thing.

The state of Maryland looks at drinking and driving quite differently, especially for drivers who are under the age of 21. You risk an outcome that could put a big dent in your plans for the future.

Looking at the penalties

If you are a driver who is under the age of 18, you are still in zero-tolerance territory. Any level of alcohol in your system can trigger a criminal charge. You stand to lose your driver’s license, you will undoubtedly have to pay fines and depending on the circumstances under which you were arrested, you could also serve time in jail. As if all that is not enough to ruin your day, the DUI mark on your record has the potential to ruin your future.

Applying to college

If you are applying for college or graduate school, that DUI mark may result in a denial of admission to an institution of higher learning. If will also prevent you from entering a profession such as teaching, nursing or law that requires certification or a state license.

Finding work

If your current occupation involves driving a company car or truck, your DUI may cause you to lose your job, and finding a new job will also be difficult. Many employers perform background checks on applicants, and you may be considered too much of a risk to hire.

Keeping insurance

An experienced criminal defense attorney will tell you that one of the immediate problems you will face if convicted of DUI will be getting your driving privileges back. To do so, you will have to show proof of auto insurance. Your current insurance company may label you as a high-risk driver and either cancel your policy or raise your rates significantly.

Minimizing the damage

Keep in mind that there are penalty options, such as community service and alcohol education programs. To the extent possible, the goal is to lessen the consequences of a DUI conviction and help to get your plans for the future back on track.

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