Rockland County Underage DWI Lawyer

The legal age to drink alcohol in New York is 21. As a result, when underage individuals are charged with DWI, the consequences can be more severe than they are for adults over the age of 21. The combination of inexperience as a driver and alcohol consumption can be deadly in many cases, so the law is strict for underage individuals who drink and drive. A Rockland County underage DWI lawyer could help you protect your rights and your future. An experienced DWI defense lawyer could review your case and determine how to best proceed with your case.

What are the DWI Laws for Underage Individuals?

Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192-a, underage individuals are subject to a zero-tolerance standard. Adults over the age of 21 are presumed to be impaired by alcohol when their blood alcohol content (BAC) measures .08 percent or more. However, underage individuals break the law if their BAC is more than .02 percent. Most people can reach this BAC level easily after consuming only one beer or drink.

Anyone under the age of 21 who drives with a BAC of between .02 and .07 percent can face charges of driving after having consumed alcohol. If the BAC of an underage person is .08 percent or higher, then they can face drunk driving charges, just as if they were of legal age. If their BAC measures between .05 and .07 percent, they can face charges of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). For these offenses, someone under the age of 21 could face the same penalties as those over 21.

If someone is charged with underage DWI, they also may face related criminal charges, which can add to their potential penalties. These charges may include using a fake ID to purchase or solicit alcohol. Regardless of the charges an underage individual may be facing, it may be advantageous to consult a DWI lawyer in Rockland County for advice.

Potential Penalties for Underage Drunk Driving Charges

The penalties for underage drunk driving depend on the BAC of the person and the resulting criminal charges. If the BAC was between .02 percent and .07 percent, resulting in charges of driving after having consumed alcohol, the penalties may include:

  • Suspension of license for six months plus a $100 suspension termination fee
  • $125 civil penalty
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device and payment of related fees
  • Enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program and payment of associated fees

Subsequent offenses can result in a revocation of a person’s license for one year or until they turn 21, whichever is longer, a $125 penalty, and a $100 license reapplication fee. If someone under the age of 21 refuses to take a chemical test at a traffic stop, they will usually face an automatic one-year license revocation and a $125 civil penalty. An attorney in Rockland County could fight these charges and work to minimize or reduce the potential penalties that can result from a underage DWI conviction.

What are Common Defense Strategies in Underage DWI Cases?

Whether an underage driver is facing charges of DWI or DWAI, the defense options presented to them will primarily fall into one of two options. The first involves challenges to a traffic stop. The second relates to the exclusion of chemical test results.

Attacking the legality of the traffic stop is a viable option in many cases. If the defense can show the police lacked reasonable suspicion to pull the defendant over, the evidence they collect following the stop could be excluded at trial. This includes anything from breath test results to an admission of drinking.

Attacking the accuracy of a chemical test is also a common approach. The courts may exclude a BAC test result if the sample was collected in a way that violates state regulations. The same is true if the tests were not completed under the standards required by law. A Rockland County lawyer could help an underage individual determine what type of defense strategy may work best in their DWI case.

Talk to a Rockland County Underage DWI Attorney Today

A Rockland County underage DWI lawyer could help you fight back against any charges you are facing and protect your future. To learn more about your options, call today for a consultation.

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