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Why it’s easier for young people to get a DWI than older drivers

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2023 | DWI

To some degree, it feels like everyone who can drive would have the same risk of getting charged with DWI. Those who consume alcohol before getting in the car are potentially risking arrest.

The truth is that it’s easier for young people in New York to get a DWI than for older drivers. Let’s take a look at why this is and what it may mean for your child.

Zero tolerance laws

The issue is that New York, like many other states, uses zero tolerance laws when it comes to underage drinking and driving. Essentially, because someone who is under 21 years old is not supposed to purchase alcohol, a driver who is found to have any blood alcohol content (BAC) if they are a minor can be charged with DWI.

For drivers who are 21 and older, the legal limit is 0.08% BAC. This means that most of these drivers are fully able to have one or perhaps two drinks before they approach this line.

If a teenager had even a single drink, despite the fact that they may not feel impaired by that drink, they could still get a DWI. They may only blow a 0.03% on the breath test, but that is still too high under the zero tolerance laws. It’s important for young people to understand how this works so that they can avoid driving after having any amount of alcohol to drink. They should never assume that the 0.08% limit applies to them.

If you are the parent of a teenager who is facing DWI charges, you need to know exactly what legal steps to take at this time.