DUI- Zero Tolerance in New York

Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.

The prefrontal cortex of the human brain begins developing during adolescence and is believed to be completed by age 25. For youthful offenders who are convicted of alcohol or drug related offenses in New York, mistakes made prior to turning 21 can carry lifelong consequences.

New York’s Zero Tolerance Law imposes penalties on drivers under 21 who have been found to have a BAC between .02% and .07%. While a BAC for .02% would not rise to the threshold limit of the lesser DWAI in adults over 21, it does create a chargeable offense for drivers under 21. It is in the best interest of any driver under 21 to consult an attorney about this offense as it differs vastly from a regular DUI charge.

Drivers under 21 that have been pulled over with any BAC in this range will be required to appear for a hearing at the DMV. If certain elements of the law are proved at this hearing, the driver will face a six month suspension and penalties for a first time offense. For a second offense with a previous alcohol related conviction, the driver will have their license revoked for a year. There are additional penalties and fines for a refusal to submit to a chemical test.

A Zero Tolerance conviction will be visible on a driver’s record for whichever time frame is longer: three years, or until the driver turns twenty one. Youthful offenders must serve the suspension or revocation period, regardless of whether a Drinking Driver Program is completed. In certain cases, Zero Tolerance convictions will play a factor in re-applying for a license after permanent revocation.

Youthful offenders often do not understand the long term consequences of even a single alcohol related offense. The Zero Tolerance process is tough to beat and even worse to experience. Attorneys who practice DUI cases can navigate youthful offenders through the process and explain possible outcomes, and the long term consequences of respective outcomes.

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Disclaimer: All the content of this website has been prepared by Benjamin Goldman Law Office P.C. for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information on this website shall not be construed as an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create, nor shall the receipt of such information constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Our hope is that you will find the information useful and informative, and we would be happy to communicate with you and answer any questions you may have about our legal services. Readers should not act upon the information on this website, or decide not to act based upon the information on this website, without first seeking appropriate professional counsel from an attorney licensed in the home state of the drivers license of the person who received the relevant traffic citation.