Have you, your child, or a loved one been arrested for drinking and driving under the legal drinking age? New York laws enact a “zero-tolerance” policy on all drivers under 21 years of age, meaning that anyone under the age of 21 should not be drinking and driving under any circumstances. The penalties for doing so are severe; this is why you should contact a New York DWI/DUI lawyer right away to come to your defense.
What are the Penalties for Underage DWI/DUI?
Since youths under the age of 21 are prohibited from purchasing or consuming alcohol, it is evident that if they have alcohol in their system, in any quantity, they have broken the law. In response to this, the laws have been adjusted to be stricter when regulating underage drinkers. If an underage person is found to have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) between 0.02% and 0.07%, then they have committed an offense under the Zero Tolerance Law. This is equivalent to only one drink!
These are the potential charges one could face for underage drinking and driving:
- Driving while ability impaired (DWAI): BAC measures between 0.05% and 0.08%
- Operating a motor vehicle after having consumed alcohol; Under 21 years of age
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI): BAC measures 0.08% or higher
While operating a motor vehicle after having consumed alcohol by a person under 21 is not a traffic infraction or a crime; it carries a mandatory six-month license suspension and a civil penalty.
In addition, both DWAI and DWI have enhanced penalties for a person under 21. For example, a conviction for a DWAI, which would typically carry a 90-day license suspension, carries a one-year revocation if the person is under 21. Of course, being convicted of a DWI/DUI before 21 and starting adulthood with a criminal record could have severe and reverberating consequences. It is essential to have aggressive and experienced representation.
The Kugel Law Firm understands that the moment you are arrested, everything changes. Every move you make will be critical to your defense and preserving your rights and your freedoms. Serving people throughout New York, our knowledgeable and experienced DWI/DUI lawyers have helped countless numbers of clients over the years find the resolution they need to overcome even the most serious of DWI/DUI cases.
We can offer legal advice on penalties you might expect, such as:
- Jail or incarceration
- License suspension
- Court fees and fines
- Criminal record
- Community service