Underage DUI Arrest In New YorkBeing arrested for DUI in New York can be a frightening experience – especially for drivers under the age of 21.

Drunk driving is considered a very serious offense and can lead to a long list of negative consequences for those who are convicted. Drivers convicted of DUI charges in New York often face expensive fines, a license suspension and sometimes even jail time…

However, not all DUI arrests lead to convictions and many drivers are able to fight the charges with the help of a lawyer. In fact, our experienced DWI defense lawyers have successfully defended the rights of many underage drivers arrested on DUI charges throughout New York.

If you or a loved one are facing underage DUI charges in New York then you can read below to learn more about New York’s DWI laws and how we may be able to help you fight the charges.

Underage Drunk Driving Laws In New York

The State of New York operates on what is known as the “Zero Tolerance Law” when it comes to underage drinking and driving.

What Is The Zero Tolerance Law?

Drinking Under the Age of 21New York’s Zero Tolerance Law went into effect on November 1, 1996 and set strict standards for drivers under age of 21.

Motorists under the age of 21 are considered “underage” when it comes to consuming alcohol. The Zero Tolerance Law states that drivers younger than 21 years of age can be arrested for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or more, but not more than .07%.

Note: New York’s Zero Tolerance Law typically does not charge drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC under .02% in order to account for the small concentration of alcohol often found in over-the-counter cough medicines and mouthwashes.

Types of Underage DWI Charges In New York

Individuals under the age of 21 who are suspected of driving while intoxicated can be charged with several different types of DUI charges depending on the driver’s alleged blood alcohol content at the time of arrest.

Driving After Having Consumed Alcohol

Underage drivers arrested for operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of between .02% and .07% can be charged with “Driving After Having Consumed Alcohol” or a violation of the Zero Tolerance Law.

Driving after having consumed alcohol is not considered a crime like standard DWI charges. As a result, charged with driving after having consuming alcohol will be required to appear for a hearing before an administrative judge of the DMV instead of a criminal court hearing.

Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)

Underage drivers who are suspected of operating a vehicle with a BAC of more than .05% and less than .08% can be charged with “Driving While Ability Impaired,” otherwise known as DWAI.

If your BAC is higher than .05% but no more than .07% then the police will have the option of charging you with DWAI. However, if your BAC is higher than .07% but less than .08% then you will be automatically be charged with DWAI.

Drivers arrested on DWAI charges will be required to attend a hearing in criminal court.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Drivers under the age of 21 who are suspected of operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher will be charged with “Driving While Intoxicated,” otherwise known as DWI, and will be required to attend a hearing in criminal court.

Penalties For An Underage DUI Conviction

The penalties for an underage DWI conviction can vary depending on several factors including the type of DUI you are being charged with, your alleged BAC at the time of your arrest and any prior DWI-related convictions that you may have had.

First Offense Per Se DWI

Drivers under the age of 21 who have been arrested on DUI charges for the first time could face the following penalties and consequences if convicted:

  • 6 month mandatory license suspension
  • $125 civil penalty fine
  • $100 fee to terminate license suspension

Second Offense Per Se DWI

Underage drivers who have been convicted of prior DWI-related charges will face stricter penalties including, but not limited to:

  • 1 year mandatory license revocation or until driver is 21 year of age
  • $125 civil penalty fine
  • $100 license re-application fee

Implied Consent Laws & Refusing To Submit To A Chemical Test

New York also operates on “implied consent” laws which require all drivers to submit to chemical tests for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol or drugs in a driver’s body when suspected of intoxicated driving.

The implied consent laws apply equally to all drivers regardless of age, but the penalties associated with a chemical test refusal are different for those under the age of 21.

Specifically, drivers under the age of 21 who refuse to submit to a chemical test can face the following penalties:

  • 1 year mandatory license revocation
  • $300 civil penalty fine
  • $100 license re-application fee

Getting Legal Help In New York

Were you arrested for underage drunk driving in New York? Drivers under the age of 21 who are arrested on DWI-related charges can face serious consequences if convicted of the charges.

The attorneys of DUILegalNY.com fight to defend the rights of all drivers arrested on intoxicated driving charges in the State of New York. We have helped countless drivers in the past to obtain favorable outcomes and are prepared to help you too.

We have represent clients throughout New York City from our offices in Westchester County, Queens, Long Island and more.

Call us today for a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney to learn about all of your legal options.