Nobody likes being told what to do, but we follow the rules in order to keep society safe. So when there’s a rule like “zero tolerance for underage drinking,” we nod and understand. Kids don’t need to drink alcohol. Kids who are driving really don’t need to drink alcohol. But not all kids understand how dangerous youth, driving and alcohol can be when mixed. So the Missouri Underage Drinking statutes are there to explain that lesson, and really bring it home.
The Missouri Underage Drinking Abuse and Lose statutes target:
- Underage drunk drivers. A first-offense underage DUI in Missouri means that any amount of alcohol detected while you are driving is considered a DUI in Missouri if you are under 21.
- Underage drugged drivers. A DUI doesn’t always mean alcohol, so your “influence” can be street drugs, prescription drugs or even over-the-counter medications.
- Fake driver’s license holders. If you have a fake ID, whether a learner’s permit, driver’s license or state ID, you’re in violation of the Abuse and Lose statutes.
Under the Missouri Abuse or Lose statute, anyone under the age of 21 can have their license suspended for 90 days for a first offense. A second offense will cause a one-year license revocation. Underage DUI offenders may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device. Plus, if that minor is not old enough for a license (under 16), the suspension period will not even start until they reach that age.
While none of us like to be told what to do, we also really don’t like irresponsible drivers on the roads. Keeping our families safe from drunk drivers means that we all have to follow the rules, and especially remain sober behind the wheel, no matter how old we are. Missouri has a way of treating underage drinking that reminds us all of the carefree days of our youth, and how to keep today’s kids from making mistakes that could take that from them.