Buffalo area drivers under the age of twenty-one are not supposed to drive after having consumed any amount of alcohol.
An underage driver who is stopped and found to have a blood alcohol content as low as .02% is subject to at least a fine and licensing penalties under New York’s Zero Tolerance Law.
While young drivers with a higher blood alcohol content may be subject to charges in a local criminal court, such as Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol or Driving With a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08% or Greater, the matter is handled before an administrative law judge appointed by the Department of Motor Vehicles when the driver’s blood alcohol content is relatively low.
When an under 21 driver is found in violation of the Zero Tolerance Law by the administrative law judge and has previously either violated the Zero Tolerance Law or been convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense in court, that driver is considered a repeat offender.
Repeat offenders are subject to greater driver’s license penalties.
While a first time offender will have his or her driver’s license suspended for six months, the driver’s license of a repeat offender will be revoked for one year or until the driver turns 21, whichever is longer.
As a result, depending on the age of the driver, his or her license may be revoked for years before it can be reinstated.
Moreover, a first time violator of the Zero Tolerance Law is eligible to attend the Drinking Driver Program, which allows the driver to obtain a conditional license to drive for work and school until his or her full license is restored.
Repeat offenders are not eligible for the Drinking Driver Program and, therefore, cannot obtain a conditional license.
Aside from the licensing penalties, repeat offenders are subject to a $125 fine.
New York’s DWI laws can be complicated. If you need an experienced DWI lawyer who understands the different penalties that may be imposed, please call us at 716-542-5444.