Zero tolerance laws, regarding DUI, encompass a number of criminal offenses involving underage motorists driving with illegal blood alcohol content. All states impose some form of zero tolerance laws, which virtually prohibit drivers under the legal drinking age of twenty-one (21) to operate a motor vehicle with any discernable amount of alcohol in their system, although the amount that constitutes an illegal, discernable amount varies slightly from state to state. The following list outlines states with zero tolerance laws and their associated zero tolerance blood alcohol content threshold. Essentially, if an underage driver is found with the applicable blood alcohol content or higher, he or she is in violation of his or her state’s zero tolerance laws, which is a criminal offense oftentimes carrying penalties similar to a simple DUI charge for adults.
- States with Zero Tolerance Threshold at more than .00%: Alaska, Arizona, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin
- States with Zero Tolerance Threshold at or higher than .01%: California and New Jersey
- States with Zero Tolerance Threshold at or higher than .02%: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming
It is important to note, however, that drivers with a blood alcohol content higher than the standard .08% will likely incur regular DUI charges, sometimes alongside charges based on the state’s zero tolerance laws, especially with regards to administrative penalties. Furthermore, certain states have lowered traffic offenses related to driving under the influence of alcohol, at a standard less than .08%, which may also prove applicable in certain cases.
Getting Legal Help with Zero Tolerance DUI Arrests
Having legal counsel and representation following any zero tolerance DUI arrest is important. Arrested drivers must contest a number of items, including the administrative action impending on their driver’s license, the criminal charges pending, and preparing a viable criminal defense strategy. All of these matters are time-sensitive, which means a driver should consult with a DUI lawyer as soon as feasibly possible following arrest. Consult with a zero tolerance DUI lawyer in your state today to learn more about your legal rights and options.