Drinking and Driving
What does Zero Tolerance mean? New York has a “Zero Tolerance” law, meaning any person under 21 who is caught driving with even a small amount of alcohol (.02 blood alcohol content), typically one drink, can be charged with a traffic offense. If found guilty of a first offense, the youth can lose their license for 6 months and pay a fine of $125, plus another $100 fee when the license is returned. If this is a second offense, the driver's license may be revoked for 1 year or until the young person reaches the age of 21, whichever is longer.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) If the blood alcohol content is more than .08%, the youth can be arrested and treated as any other adult driver, including a charge for DWI, a Class A misdemeanor and a criminal offense. The penalty for a first offense is a minimum or $500, losing one's license for at least 6 months, and can involve time in jail.
Cost of a drunk driving conviction The costs of drunk driving can be surprising, even if no accidents are involved, totaling as much as $6,000. The insurance company can deny parents whose child resides with them the standard or preferred rate, which could raise the costs of car insurance by $2,000-$3,000 per year for many years. Other expenses typically include:
- towing and car storage
- defense attorney
- bail fee and DWI fine
- court surcharges
- alcohol evaluation
- probation supervision fees, drinking driver program fee
- license reinstatement fees and civil penalties