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Penalties for a DWI under the age of 21

A blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater is generally grounds for a Driving While Intoxicated charge in the state of New York. However, according to, that is not the case if the driver is under the legal age for drinking. When a driver is underage, which is anything younger than 21 years old, New York's Zero Tolerance Law kicks in. Under this law, driving with a BAC between the levels of 0.02 percent and 0.07 percent can also constitute a violation, and DWI charges may be brought.

The penalties that accompany the Zero Tolerance Law are different from those who are over 21. According to, a first-time offender can receive a six-month driver's license suspension, a civil penalty of $125 and a fee of $100 to end the suspension. The offender may also be required to enroll in a drinking and driving program as well as have an ignition interlock device installed in the ignition. 

A second offense can result in the driver's license being revoked for a full year, or until the driver turns 21. Another civil penalty of $125 and the termination fee of $100 may also be charged. This violation can also include enrollment in the driving program and installation of the ignition interlock device if it is not already present.

New York has an Implied Consent Law, which means drivers must submit to testing if stopped by a police officer. If the minor has refused this step, chemical test refusal penalties can also be given in addition to the zero tolerance penalties. This can result in additional fines and fees as well as a lengthier suspension of the driver's license.

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