Governor signs new underage DUI law

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you are under 21, you'll want to think twice about getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking. If you're caught, you'll be facing some stiff penalties starting Friday.

Governor McDonnell signs the new law in front of several advocates.

Last year alone, more than a thousand people under the age of 21 were caught after they decided to get behind the wheel and hit the road, drunk.

That's why this new stiffer law, with some tough penalties, is about to hit the books — aimed to turn that around.

Currently, if you're caught drinking and driving underage, you only lose your license for six months and face a minimal fine. But starting at midnight that changes.

Here is a breakdown of the new law — if you're caught, you will lose your license for a year and face either a minimum of a $500 fine or 50 hours of community service.

Martha Meade with AAA says these stiffer penalties is a good thing, but there's still work to do to see things change.

"The challenge is getting the word out to these college students who think they are invincible," said Meade.

The governor signed the law Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in Church Hill.

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