Underage DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)

The laws in New York provide for a "zero tolerance" alcohol policy when the driver is under 21 years of age. Even one drink would generally put the young person over the "zero tolerance" blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02.

Any minor charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) also faces automatic administrative hearings and sanctions under New York's Vehicle and Traffic Laws, Section 1192-a and 1194-a. Even more serious charges will be alleged if the minor drove with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit of 0.08.

Queens Underage DWI Attorney

Attorney Rochelle S. Berliner has almost two decades of experience in the criminal field. She has worked as both a Prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. This experience gives her a great perspective on both sides of the criminal justice field. Rochelle understands the repercussions that a DWI charge can lead to, especially for a minor. It can bring serious punishments or even expulsion for college students. A DWI charge can also affect future housing and employment options.

If your loved one has been charged with underage DWI, contact the Law Office to discuss their legal options during a free consultation. Call or send an online message for a free and honest assessment of your defense options.

New York Underage DWI

Back to top

Prompt or Automatic Driver's License Suspensions after a Minor Child's DWI Arrest

In 2002, the New York legislature passed "Sean's Law," which provides for automatic driver's license suspension periods that are similar to the prompt suspensions that adults might suffer after a DWI arrest. At arraignment within 24 hours of the arrest for DWI or DWAI, the criminal court judge can immediately suspend the minor's New York driver license, learner permit, junior driver license, or privileges to drive in the State of New York.

Any driver under the age of 21 arrested for DWAI, DWI, or aggravated DWI will have his driver license suspended or revoked. The minor must serve the entire revocation time or suspension time (even if the minor has completed the "Drinking Driver Program").

Back to top

Refusal to Submit to the Chemical or Breath Test - Revocation of the Driver's License>

After an arrest for DWI or DWAI by a minor under New York's "zero tolerance" policy, or any other alcohol or drug related charge, the refusal to take a chemical test of your breath, blood or urine could result in a separate revocation. The most common chemical test after a minor under the age of 21 is arrested for DWI is the breath test. New York's breathalyzer machine was designed to estimate the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC).

The blood alcohol content is stated as the percentage of alcohol in the blood. If the refusal is not overturned during a DMV administrative hearing, then the minor's driver license will be revoked for at least a one year period and a civil penalty of $500 will be imposed.

Any driver who is under the age of 21 at the time of the refusal will suffer a driver license revocation for twelve months. A second refusal to submit to the chemical testing within any five year period requires a license revocation for at least one year or until the driver turns 21 (whichever is longer).

Back to top

The Minor's Breath Test Reading Over the Limit of 0.02 - Revocation of the Driver's License

New York's "zero tolerance" law makes it unlawful for a young person under the age of 21 to consume any alcohol before driving. If the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that you consumed any alcohol, the officer may detain you to request that you submit to a chemical test to estimate your blood alcohol concentration.

If the results show a BAC of 0.02 to 0.07, then the underage driver will be notified to appear at a DMV hearing. If the action is upheld by a judge, then the penalty is a six-month driver license suspension, a $100 suspension termination fee, and a $125 civil penalty.

Back to top

Law Office | New York City Under 21 DWI Lawyer

Your loved one's future is important. Any DWI charge on a criminal record can potentially have serious implications on a person's later prospects.

With almost two decades of experience, Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner will aggressively fight for your child's future in front of a judge or jury. Call or submit an online form today for an in-depth consultation over the phone or in her Queens office.

Back to top