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New York's zero-tolerance laws come with stiff penalties


New York, like every other state, has zero-tolerance laws when it comes to underage drunk driving offenses. It is illegal for people under 21-years-old to drink alcohol. If a person under 21-years-old is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and has any alcohol in his or her system he or she could be charged with driving under the influence, even if he or she was not intoxicated.

If it is a person's first time being found in violation of New York's zero-tolerance law, he or she will have to pay a $125 civil penalty, and his or her license will be suspended for six months, although there is a $100 fee to terminate said suspension. If a person is found to be in violation of New York's zero-tolerance law for the second time, he or she will have his or her licence revoked either for 12 months or until the person reaches age 21. In addition, the person will face a $125 civil penalty, along with a $100 re-application fee.

If a person under age 21 is pulled over and asked to submit to a chemical test, he or she may want to refuse to do so. But, there are consequences for this.

If it is the person's first chemical test refusal under New York's zero-tolerance laws, he or she will have his or her license revoked for at least 12 months, and he or she will face a $300 civil penalty and a $100 re-application fee. If it is the person's second chemical test refusal under New York's zero-tolerance laws, he or she will have his or her license revoked for at least 12 months and he or she will face a $750 civil penalty and a $100 re-application fee. As one can see, one should think carefully before deciding to refuse a chemical test.

The penalties associated with New York's zero-tolerance laws are stiff, and give little leeway for individuals charged with them. If a person in New York is under the legal drinking age and gets behind the wheel of a car after having consumed even a small amount of alcohol, he or she could face criminal charges and the penalties associated with them. If a person wants to learn more about New York's zero-tolerance laws, he or she can consult with a criminal defense attorney.

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