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New York's zero tolerance law

Vehicle accidents are a common cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 20, and in an effort to make driving safer for individuals in this age bracket, many states have adopted zero tolerance laws. Our state has a zero tolerance law in place that criminalizes the presence of practically any alcohol in the system of an underage driver. The idea behind these laws is that by penalizing drunk driving in young people, fewer drunk driving accidents involving teens will occur.

The intent of the law is noble, but as with other drunk driving laws and processes, there are problems with its execution. A teen who is suspected of drinking and driving may be stopped and assessed for intoxication. If their blood alcohol concentration shows any signs of intoxication, they may be subject to a license suspension and fines.

In New York, any underage driver whose BAC is between 0.02 percent and 0.07 percent may be subject to the penalties of the state's zero tolerance laws. Minors may be charged with more serious drunk driving crimes if their BAC reaches the intoxication threshold set by the state of 0.08 percent. Individuals of any age who are facing drunk driving crimes can discuss their cases with attorneys who practice DUI and DWI defense.

There are many reasons that signs of alcohol may show up in a person's BAC assessment, and when they erroneously do, innocent people can pay the price. Teens who are wrongly suspected of drunk driving may be penalized under New York's zero tolerance laws, the consequences of which may linger with them for the rest of their lives.

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