Drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous. If you choose to drive under the influence of alcohol, you are endangering yourself, your passengers, other drivers on the road, and pedestrians. For this reason, New York State has a Zero Tolerance Law. If you consume alcohol under the legal drinking age, you are breaking a law. So, drinking underage and driving means breaking multiple laws and putting a lot of lives in danger. As a result, charges for this crime can be serious. Read on to learn more about underage DWI charges in New York.
First offense DWI for drivers younger than 21
Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense. Depending on your age, you will face different penalties. If you are older than 21, and you have a BAC of .08% or higher, you will be charged with a DWI. But, if you are younger than 21 and have a BAC of just 0.02% or higher, you have violated New York’s Zero Tolerance Law. Penalties may include:
- Suspended license for 6 months
- A $125 civil penalty
- A $100 fee for suspension termination
- Potential enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and associated costs
- Potential ignition interlock device installation and associated costs
If you are younger than 21 and have violated New York’s Zero Tolerance Law by refusing to take a chemical test for the first time, you could be facing further penalties if convicted. These may include:
- A $300 civil penalty
- A revoked license for at least one year
- $100 to reinstate your license
- A $250 annual assessment fine for 3 years
Notably, penalties are determined by your BAC and your prior offenses, so any subsequent DWIs will result in higher penalties.
What if I am Charged with an Underage DWI?
An underage DWI is a serious offense and the charges can have long-term impacts. If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DWI, you will want to retain the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Reach out to our firm to discuss your case. We understand that young people make mistakes and we will fight to reduce your charges and penalties.
Contact our Firm
Criminal matters can change the course of your life forever. This is why you need an experienced attorney who will aggressively combat your charges to help mitigate their long-term effects. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter on Long Island or throughout New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to assist you.