Being under 21, it can be tempting to drink alcohol before you are old enough to drink legally. It can become risky when drinking alcohol is mixed with an inexperienced driver behind the wheel. As an example, let’s say that you had one or two beers at a party, and then went to drive home. On the way home you were pulled over by local police. Thankfully, your blood alcohol level was 0.04, under the legal limit for drunk driving. But you still were caught with alcohol in your system while under 21, and you were behind the wheel when it happened. You ended up being charged with Operating Beyond License Restriction or Operating Without a License instead. In this situation you might be wondering do I have to take DEEP for an under 21 alcohol violation?
The answer to the question (do I have to take DEEP for an Under 21 alcohol violation?) is if the alcohol-related violation involved driving a car, then the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will require you to complete a DEEP course as a part of your license reinstatement requirements.
Under 21 License Status Triggers Zero Tolerance Laws
The BMV considers your driver’s license to be a privilege, not a right. When you are under 21 in Maine, your Maine driver’s license is what is called a “provisional license.” It is a driver’s license that prohibits you from having any amount of alcohol in your system. This is known as Maine’s “zero tolerance” law. This is because the only permissible amount of alcohol in your system is 0.00.
When you violate your provisional license by drinking alcohol while under 21, you are by definition, violating Maine’s Zero Tolerance Law. As a result, the BMV will suspend your under 21 driver’s license for one (1) whole year.
Taking the Under 21 DEEP Program
After your license has been suspended for an under 21 alcohol violation, you are required to complete a DEEP course as a part of your reinstatement requirements with the BMV. Anyone who has had their license suspended due to alcohol must complete a DEEP course in order to get their driver’s license back. Since you are under 21, you would not take the adult DEEP course, but you would be referred to the age-appropriate Under 21 DEEP course. The Under 21 DEEP course focuses on avoiding alcohol until you turn 21. These courses are offered in different locations across Maine.
If you do not complete your under 21 DEEP requirement, then the BMV will not reinstate your driving privileges, and your license would remain suspended.
Our determinedd legal team is committed to take immediate action to seek a positive case outcome. If you or someone you know is charged with a driving-related crime or violation in Maine involving alcohol as someone under 21, I encourage you to contact The Nielsen Group for your free legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. We will take the time to answer your questions and to put your mind at ease as we work with you to determine a defense strategy.
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