Underage Drinking

Criminal Defense • Disciplinary Investigations & Hearings

Underage Drinking

New York Underage DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer

The legal drinking age in New York is 21. Drivers under the age of 21 make up fewer than 10 percent of the state’s licensed drivers. However, they account for 14 percent of all drunk driving-related fatalities in New York, according to research by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

As a result, underage drinkers face harsher penalties than if they were at the legal drinking age. Facing a DWI charge can be a stressful experience. If you or your child has been charged with drunk driving, Brill Legal Group can help. As an individual charged with drinking and driving in New York, you will need experienced legal representation that knows how to build a solid defense for such cases.

New York’s Zero Tolerance Law

New York enforces a zero tolerance law when it comes to drunk driving. It only takes one beer at a party to be in violation of the law. An individual under the age of 21 who drives a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.02 percent and 0.07 percent will be charged with the offense of driving after having consumed alcohol. They will be required to appear before a Department of Motor Vehicles judge for a hearing.

You can also be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a BAC of 0.08 or higher and Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI) with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.07. In both cases, you will face the same penalties as a driver who is 21 years or older.

On top of being charged for drinking and driving, an underage driver can also be charged for offenses such as using a fake ID to purchase alcohol or soliciting alcohol. Any other violations that the officer notices during the arrest can add to the penalties.

If an underage person is stopped by a police officer for having consumed alcohol, the police officer has the right to require the individual to take a breathalyzer test to determine their BAC. Refusal to take either a breath, blood or urine test will result in a driver’s license revocation of at least one year.

Brill Legal Group will stand by you throughout the entire legal process and help you understand your options. We have the resources and the experience to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your drunk driving case.

Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving

Penalties vary depending on your BAC. You may have to appear at a DMV hearing, pay a civil penalty or fine, have your license revoked, and in some DWI cases even go to jail. If you have a previous alcohol-related traffic offense, the license revocation period will be at least one year or until you are 21, whichever period is longer.
Consequences for a first underage drinking and driving offense may include:

Suspension of driver’s license for six months with $100 required fee for suspension termination

  • $125 civil penalty
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device that ensures the car will not start if there is alcohol in the driver’s system
  • Enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program
  • Drunk driving is a serious crime. Being convicted of underage drinking and driving can have devastating consequences on a young person’s life. It can negatively affect college admission as well as future employment. Brill Legal Group can help you get a second chance. We will work to minimize the potential penalties you face.
    Exceptions to Alcohol Consumption for Underage Individuals

    Although drinking alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal in New York, there are several exceptions. Underage individuals are allowed to drink with the consent of a legal guardian if they are on a private property that does not sell alcohol. Those below 21 can also consume alcohol at alcohol-selling premises such as restaurants if a legal guardian consents to it. Another exception is for educational purposes, such as culinary school.

    If you are facing drunk driving charges, you need an experienced defense lawyer by your side who understands New York’s laws in the area. We can guide you through the DMV administrative hearing process and help you obtain a conditional license so that you can drive to work or school with minimal disruption to your life.

    Contact us today for a free initial consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Your call will always be answered, no matter what time of day.

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