DeRoberts Law Firm

Focused On Protecting Your Family And Your Future

Underage Drinking And Driving DWI

Last updated on March 8, 2022

If you are under age 21, New York law provides major penalties for driving after consuming any amount of alcohol. A violation of the Zero Tolerance law can result in a license suspension of six months, a year or more. Depending on your blood alcohol content (BAC), you may also face criminal charges the same as an adult of legal age.

DeRoberts Law Firm in Syracuse has defended many clients who are under the legal drinking age. We work hard to get underage drivers charged with Zero Tolerance, DWI or DWAI into a special program that may help them retain their driving privileges. Our unique approach involves offering you experience, dedication and the personal attention of your attorney throughout your case.

Criminal defense lawyer Jeffrey DeRoberts practices in Onondaga County and across Central New York. Call us immediately at 315-479-6445 to protect your or your child’s rights and license.

DWAI And DWI (DUI) Under 21 — Serious Legal Trouble

Age is not a factor if your BAC meets the threshold for DWI (.08) or DWAI (.05). You will be charged. You will have to appear in court and face fines, jail time, probation and other penalties whether you are under 21 or over. (See about DWI/DWAI.) You will need an aggressive attorney to fight the charges so that a youthful mistake does not ruin your future.

Zero Tolerance Law — Your License Is At Stake

If you are under 21, you violate the Zero Tolerance statute if your BAC is .02 or greater, basically if there is any measurable level of alcohol in your system. One beer at a party is all it takes. This is an administrative penalty imposed by the New York DMV. There is no jail and only a small fine, but:

  • On a first offense, your license is suspended for six months.
  • On a second offense, your license is suspended for one year or until you reach age 21, whichever is greater.

You may be cited for both Zero Tolerance and DWAI, depending on your BAC and any observed signs of impaired driving.

We understand that losing driving privileges for so long would be devastating for a high school student, college student or any person under 21 who is holding down a job. If we can’t get the violation dismissed, Mr. DeRoberts will work hard to get you qualified for the DMV Drinking Driver Program, which can lead to a limited license (driving only to school or work) or eventual reinstatement of full driving privileges.

NOTE: You cannot qualify for DMV’s DDP for a second offense within five years, but we may be able to reduce the period of license suspension.

Get Effective Representation for Alcohol-Related Offenses

Jeffrey DeRoberts is an experienced criminal defense lawyer. He can explain the consequences of paying a citation or pleading guilty to a minor misdemeanor, and options to reduce the impact of alcohol-related crimes.

DeRoberts Law Firm can often get charges dismissed or reduced, and we are almost always successful in protecting our clients’ driving privileges. The Zero Tolerance statute, for example, suspends the license of anyone under 21 who drives after drinking any amount of alcohol. Jeffrey DeRoberts can get at least a restricted license so these teens and young adults can continue to drive to school or work. By offering you his personal attention throughout the duration of your child’s case, you can rest assured that your child’s future is in good hands.

If you are under 21, the parents of a minor, an adult charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor, or accused of drinking and driving, contact our Syracuse office for a free consultation. Call 315-479-6445, or send an email for a free consultation.