Are There Different BAC Limits for Underage Drivers in New York?




    All New York drivers are subject to the state’s DUI laws, which prohibit motorists from operating a vehicle when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. All drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more will be charged with driving while under the influence (DUI). While all drivers who violate these laws will be subject to an array of harsh penalties, the state imposes stricter penalties when it comes to those who are under the legal drinking age of 21. This is due to New York’s Zero-Tolerance Laws. Motorist under the age of 21 who are charged with DUI will face a different set of consequences for their reckless actions.

    Nevertheless, a criminal conviction can upend your life. As such, if you’ve been charged with DUI and you are under the age of 21, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a seasoned Nassau County DWI/DUI Attorney who can help fight to protect you from an uncertain future. Please continue reading to learn whether there are different BAC limits for underage drivers in New York.

    What are New York’s Zero-Tolerance Laws?

    DUI is a severe offense in New York, and the court is aggressive when enforcing penalties as they want to deter motorists from engaging in this reckless driving behavior in the future. If a police officer has probable cause to believe that you are operating your vehicle while you’re impaired, they can pull you over and require you to blow into a breathalyzer. The breathalyzer will give the officer a reading of your BAC level to determine if you are over the legal limit. In New York, DUI is defined by your BAC level:

    • 0.08% if you are 21 years or older
    • 0.04% if you are driving a commercial motor vehicle
    • 0.02% if you are younger than 21

    As you can see, there are different BAC limits for underage drivers. New York enforces underage DUI laws to prohibit those who are younger than 21 years old from getting behind the wheel after they’ve consumed alcohol. If you are younger than 21 and have a BAC of at least 0.02%, you have violated New York’s Zero-Tolerance Law.

    What are the penalties for an underage DUI?

    If you violate New York’s Zerto Tolerance Law, you will face the following penalties:

    • License suspension for up to 6 months
    • A fine of up to $125
    • A $100 fee for license suspension termination
    • Enrolment in the New York Driver Program (DDP)
    • Installation of an ignition interlock device

    However, if you violated New York’s Zero-Tolerance Law by refusing to comply with a chemical test, you will face additional penalties if you’re convicted:

    • A fine of up to $300
    • License revocation for at least one year
    • A $250 annual assessment fine for three years

    New York takes underage DUIs seriously. As such, it’s in your best interest to retain the legal services of a determined Nassau County DWI/DUI attorney who can help defend your rights and interests. At Grunwald & Seman, P.C., we are prepared to fight to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.

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