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Zero tolerance and underage drunk driving charges

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Zero tolerance and underage drunk driving charges

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2022 | criminal defense

Whether you are a teen facing drunk driving charges or a concerned parent, it is essential to understand a number of factors related to underage drunk driving allegations. In addition to recognizing the penalties associated with these allegations, you should also familiarize yourself with North Carolina’s zero tolerance policy.

For drivers under the age of 21, this zero tolerance law means that some face serious charges after consuming a very small amount of alcohol, and some drivers are wrongly accused of driving drunk.

Underage drunk driving and small amounts of alcohol

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, this state has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol consumption and drivers under the age of 21. If you have not reached 21 and a law enforcement official determines that you have any amount of alcohol in your system while driving, you could face drunk driving charges.

Sometimes, young drivers have a mixed drink at a party without realizing it contained alcohol, or they have a very small amount of alcohol on their breath for another reason. If a driver under 21 refuses to submit to a sobriety test, a law enforcement official only needs to smell alcohol on their breath to charge them with drunk driving.

Underage drunk driving and your driver’s license

If charged with driving drunk, the court could revoke your driver’s license for one year. Sometimes, drivers over 18 but under 21 can secure limited driving privileges, so long as they had no previous convictions. In order to protect your driving privileges, reputation and other aspects of your life, it is very important to approach underage drunk driving allegations carefully.