If you or a family member is under the age of 21 and recently been arrested for a DUI, you have probably just learned the State of Nevada has a Zero Tolerance Law regarding underage DUI offenses. Unlike drivers over the age of 21 where the legal limit for BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is .08% for those under 21 the legal limit is .02%. However due to the Zero Tolerance Law the district attorney frequently charges minors with Underage DUI regardless who have any trace amount of alcohol in their blood regardless of the BAC level.

This policy may also apply even if the car is parked, and the minor in possession of the keys has been drinking. Nevada law states simply the person needs “to be in actual physical control of the vehicle”.

The penalties for an Underage DUI are typically the similar penalties for a standard DUI. The only difference, besides a lower BAC threshold, is if convicted the minor would be required to submit to an alcohol and drug evaluation as well as face the loss of their license for a minimum of 90 days.


While an underage driver over the age of consent (18 – 20) arrested for a DUI will be cited with a misdemeanor traffic violation much the way a driver over the age of 21 would be. Minors under the age of 18 are prosecuted in the juvenile court and the DUI is charged as a felony – a charge that carries more weight and stigma.


Many schools and universities have their own penalties for students or prospective students who are convicted of a DUI. These consequences on a school level may include suspension, expulsion, disqualification from after school activities and sports as well as trouble getting into colleges.

In many cases we have been able to have the charges dismissed completely or reduced the lesser charge of reckless driving. Unlike a DUI charge which will cause a license to be suspended, reckless driving convictions cause +8 demerit points on a DMV record and can be reduced by attending traffic school. Additionally reckless driving records can be sealed from a criminal record in two years as opposed to seven years for a drunk driving.

You deserve an affordable and experienced DUI attorney who will aggressively defend you and will fight for your rights – at RENO DUI LAW FIRM at (775) 786-5791 it’s what we do!