New York’s Zero Tolerance Laws

Schedule a Free Consultation


    We have the experience and knowledge necessary to represent underage drivers (under 21-years-old).

    New York State has a “zero tolerance” policy towards any drivers under 21-years-old who are alleged to be driving under the influence.  As a result, drivers under the age of 21 can be convicted of DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) even when their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is as low as .02.  BAC is the measurement of alcohol in the bloodstream per unit of volume.

    If you have been arrested or charged with a DWI and are less than 21-years-old, it is important to work with a lawyer who is experienced in this field.

    Penalties for Violating the Zero Tolerance Law

    There are serious repercussions from an underage DWI conviction. New York has a Zero Tolerance Law which prohibits individuals under the age of 21 from driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .02 percent up to .07 percent. Under those circumstances, there will be an administrative hearing.

    If the Blood Alcohol Concentration is between .05 percent but not more than .07 percent, the police have the option of charging you with DWAI.

    If the BAC is more than .07 but less than .08, you will be charged with DWAI.

    If you have more than .08, you will be charged with DWI.

    Depending on the circumstances of an underage DWI charge, there are plea negotiation limits for underage drunk driving in which a plea to the charge will be required and upon one year’s successful completion of sentence requirements, the conviction will be vacated and a plea to the lesser charge of DWAI will be available.

    Drivers convicted of violating the Zero Tolerance Law will have their license suspended for six months, a $125 civil penalty and a $100 fee to terminate the license suspension. Drivers convicted of a second Zero Tolerance Law violation will face the same civil penalty and reapplication fee, but will have their driver’s license revoked for one year or until they turn 21.

    Underage individuals who have .08 or higher BAC will be cited with a misdemeanor charge of Driving While Intoxicated. This offense carries mush harsher penalties and can result in the loss of driving privileges, increased insurance premiums and significant fines.

    Contact Us

    Underage drinking and driving carries serious penalties – We have more than four decades of experience representing underage drivers in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and the five boroughs. Contact us online or call us at (516) 450-5095.

    Our experienced attorneys will protect your rights & fight to get you the best possible outcome.