Alcohol and Drug-Related Offenses by Minors

It almost goes without saying that many teenagers are anxious to enjoy ‘adult’ responsibilities before they are legally allowed and in some cases get involved in illegal activity that can have serious consequences.  In New York, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase alcohol.  If you are underage and get behind the wheel then you are risking serious penalties and can have your license suspended.  A license suspension means that you will not be allowed to a drive for the duration of the suspension period. 

What Happens If I Am Under The Age Of 21 And Am Pulled Over For The ‘Zero Tolerance Law’?

The minimum drinking age in New York was raised from 18 to 21 in 1985.  Over the years the laws in New York became tougher and now New York follows the Zero Tolerance Law to cut the number of traffic fatalities due to underage drinking.  The Zero Tolerance Law went into effect in 1996 and applies to anyone under the age of 21 that has more than a .02 – .07 percent level of alcohol in their system to have their license suspended for a period of six months and pay a civil penalty of $125 for a first offense.  In addition, there is a $100 fee to have a license reinstated.  The Zero Tolerance Law is also known as the “Baby DWI” also can impose a 1-year license revocation for a chemical test refusal.

If you are charged with operating a motor vehicle after consumed any amount of alcohol and you are under the age of 21 then the police must prove that you were the person operating the vehicle, that a valid request to submit to the Breathalyzer test was made, that you were under the age of 21 at the time of the incident, the chemical test was properly administered, the findings of the test showed that you consumed more than .02% of alcohol and finally that the police officer’s stop was made lawfully.

Who Can I Call If I Have Been Charged Under The Zero Tolerance Law In New York And Am Facing License Suspension?

It is important to note that violations of the Zero Tolerance Law will subject you to an administrative hearing which means that you are not afforded the same rights in a criminal or municipal court.   You still have the right to an attorney however you are required to pay for an attorney out of your own pocket and will not be provided a public defender like in a criminal court.

You should contact an experienced traffic defense attorney who will fight to keep your license and make sure that your rights are protected.  Call The Rosenblum Law today for a free consultation.