Zero Tolerance laws ensure that any underage driver found with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level over 0.00 will be found guilty of impaired driving and face serious penalties.
What DUI Penalties For Underage Drivers?
Not every state has adopted Zero Tolerance laws, but every state does impose stricter penalties on underage drivers who have consumed alcohol. As in all alcohol-related vehicle stops, a suspected drunk driver will suffer administrative penalties - most commonly a suspended license - separate from any criminal penalties imposed if the driver is convicted of drunk driving (DUI / DWI).
The actual penalties imposed will vary from state to state:
Administrative Penalties Refusing e to take a chemical test after a DUI arrest, or if a minor with a BAC higher than 0.00%, will have a license suspended for 1 year
Criminal Penalties A DUI conviction may result in:
Paying a fine
Revoked for one year or until 18, whichever is longer
Impounded vehicle for up to six months, with the defendant being liable for storage fees
Refusing to take a chemical test, even at the initial stop, will result in a suspended license for 1 year
A BAC level is 0.02% or higher will result in a suspended license for at least 6 months
A BAC 0.05% or higher, will result in a license suspension until you complete a substance abuse evaluation and course
Criminal Penalties If convicted of DUI, penalties include:
Paying a fine
License revoked for a minimum of 6 months
Attendance a DUI school and potential treatment
Refusing to take a chemical test, will result in a revoked license for at least 6 months
If a BAC level is higher than 0.00%, a license will be revoked for at least 3 months
Criminal Penalties If convicted of DUI:
Jail time and paying a fine
Revoked for a minimum of 2 years
Refusing to take a chemical test will revoke a license for at least 1 year
If a BAC level is 0.02% or higher, the driver's license will be suspended for 6 months, as well as
Paying a civil penalty
Paying a license re-application fee
Criminal Penalties If you are convicted of DWI:
Jail time and fines
License revoked for a minimum of 1 year
Refusing to take a chemical test will result in a license suspension for at least 6 months
If the BAC level is higher than 0.00%, driver's license will be suspended for at least 2 months
Pay a fine and perform community service
Attend alcohol-awareness classes
License will be suspended for 2 months
Spend 72 hours to 180 days in jail and pay a fine
Perform community service and attend alcohol-awareness classes
License will be suspended for at least 3 months
What Should I Do If I Am Arrested for Drunk Driving?
If you are arrested for DUI or DWI, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and what to expect from the legal system.
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