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What Is a Zero Tolerance Law?


It is almost summer and all throughout New York, high school seniors are participating in their graduation ceremonies. Leaving high school is a big step for many young people and often signifies their transition from childhood to adulthood. However, while a youth may begin to enjoy a host of new rights and responsibilities as they prepare for life after high school, there is one important right that they cannot embrace until they reach the age of 21.

Underage drinking is illegal in our state and individuals who are found guilty of doing so can face suspensions of the driving privileges. In fact, underage drinking and driving is so serious in our state that it has imposed a zero tolerance law. The remainder of this post will discuss how zero tolerance laws operate, but readers should seek out their own advice for their specific legal needs.

A zero tolerance law is a law that virtually prohibits all levels of alcohol in drivers’ systems for a particular portion of the population. In New York, individuals under the age of 21 are subject to the zero tolerance provisions of the statute. That means if they are found to have any alcohol in their bodies while they are driving they can be sanctioned for their alleged acts.

Zero tolerance laws are designed to cut down on drunk driving accidents involving young people and teens. But, their strict application can create legal problems for youths who are preparing to move their lives forward after leaving high school. Attorneys who provide juvenile defense service may be able to support families who are facing penalties under New York’s zero tolerance law.