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Zero tolerance laws put people at risk for DWIs from spiked drinks

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | DWI

Often, drinks that have been spiked with alcohol pose little risk of leading to DWI charges. A 25-year-old who accidentally has an alcoholic drink at a social gathering will likely be nowhere near the legal limit of 0.08% unless they have consumed many other drinks on top of that — meaning that the spiked drink was never the real issue.

For younger drivers, however, the laws are different. They may be at a higher risk of a DWI in a situation where they never intended to drink and never even realized that they did.

How zero tolerance laws work

The intention of zero tolerance laws in New York and throughout the country is to keep young people from drinking at all. It’s illegal for them to drink in most cases if they’re under 21. If they get pulled over and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02%, they can be arrested for DWI. A teen with a BAC of 0.02% could get arrested for drunk driving, for instance, while an adult with a 0.02% BAC would be significantly below the legal limit and may avoid charges.

The issue of spiked drinks, then, is that even a weak spiked drink may give a young person a BAC that’s over the “zero tolerance” limit. They may feel sober and not realize that they would fail a breath test.

If this has happened to you or if you are the parent of a minor who has been arrested, you must explore all of your legal options. You do not want this one event to define your child’s life.