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In New York, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. There are some exceptions; however, and people under age 21 are allowed to drink if they are on private, non-alcohol selling property. In order for this to be legal, they need the consent of a legal guardian. Another exception would be if the alcohol consumption was for educational purposes, such as culinary school requirements. Lastly, if a legal guardian consents to the alcohol consumption and they are on alcohol-selling premises such as a restaurant or event.
If an underage driver is caught drinking and driving, the penalties are stricter than if they were over age 21. One reason for this is that underage drinkers cause a disproportionate number of fatalities that involve alcohol. Only 10% of licensed drivers are under age 21, but 14% of the DUI related fatalities in the state of NY are due to an underage drinker. In order to be driving under the influence in New York, the underage drinker would have to be above the legal limit.
The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for drivers under age 21 is .02%. For drivers 21 and older, the BAC level limit is .08%. If you have been charged for a DWI in New York and you are under age 21, you will need aggressive and experienced legal representation. Obtain representation from the best DUI attorney in Brooklyn to help in your case. Seek help from a Brooklyn criminal attorney from The Law Offices of Michael Mullen right away.
The consequences of a DWI conviction when under age 21 are harsher than drivers 21 and older. For a first drunk driving conviction in New York, the driver may receive a prison sentence of up to one year, a fine between $500 and $1,000 plus a license suspension for 6 months. The driver will also be ordered an ignition interlock device installation, which ensures that their car will not start if there is alcohol in the driver's system. For a second drunk driving conviction within five years of the first, the prison time increases to between five days and four years. The fines are also increased to between $1,000 and $5,000 plus a license suspension for at least one year.
New York has an implied consent law which requires all drivers to perform a chemical test when arrested for a DWI. The driver can take either a breath, blood or urine test but they have to perform at least one. If they choose to refuse, their license will be suspended for one year and they will have to pay a $500 fine. There are also other charges that can follow an underage DWI charge in New York.
Any other violations that the officer notices during the arrest can add to the penalties and charges. Insurance companies can also take action following an underage DWI. Some companies choose to terminate policies if you are convicted of an underage DWI. Others may just raise the cost of the premium by $100- $200 because you are now a higher risk.
If you are facing an underage DWI conviction, it is imperative to obtain skilled legal representation. Looking for a lawyer for your DUI case in Brooklyn? The Brooklyn criminal defense lawyers at our firm are familiar with the underage DWI process and may be able to help you! Call The Law Offices of Michael Mullen today to schedule your free case evaluation!