Understand the consequences for underage drinking and driving

April 2, 2023
Understand the consequences for underage drinking and driving

Missouri is serious about underage drunk driving. Many people under 21 experiment with alcohol. That could be the beginning of problems.

There could be serious consequences if they decide to drink and get behind the wheel of a car. That could lead to criminal charges if they get pulled over. The state is working to get the message across early to teenage drivers. If you drink and drive, you face serious consequences.

There is a zero-tolerance policy for underage drivers. It is important to understand the consequences if you are a teenager driver or their parents. The legal drinking age is 21 and the legal blood alcohol limit for of-age drivers is 0.08 percent. That legal drinking limit drops to 0.02 for anyone 20 and younger. That could be a single drink.

The consequences are serious

The state is serious about preventing and reducing underage drunk driving. Potential problems could be lifechanging for anyone charged with underage drunk driving.

Possible consequences include:

  • Criminal record.
  • Class B misdemeanor charges with possible jail time and a fine
  • Increased insurance rates
  • License suspension/limitations/points
  • More severe consequences for additional offenses
  • Substance abuse traffic offender program participation will be required

A conviction could change your future

The facts of your case matter. The court will use the details of the arrest to determine your penalty. Do not depend on the court being lenient because of your age or because you are a first-time offender. Our state takes these offenses seriously and they want to send a clear message.

DUI at any age has severe consequences. You must deal any of these charges, including underage DUI. You do not want to take a chance that your teen’s future will be impacted by a mistake.


For personalized legal guidance, call our office at 417-882-9300 or submit this form to schedule a meeting with an attorney.

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