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What should you know about zero tolerance laws?

In Connecticut, a zero tolerance policy is in place. You may know that the related laws are meant to give harsher penalties to underage drinkers convicted of DUI-related crimes, but do you know how they function or came to be?

FindLaw examines zero tolerance laws, their purpose, and how they can impact you. First of all, these laws are in place with the intention of cutting down the rate of underage drinking and driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, up to a third of the roadway fatalities involving people aged 15-20 are related to underage drinking. Younger drivers typically have an alcohol use rate that is double that of those over 21 years old.

Because of this, zero tolerance laws make it so the lowest blood alcohol content (BAC) level that you can be arrested for is quite low if you are under 21. Drivers who are 21 years or older must have to have a BAC level of 0.08 or higher, depending on the area they are driving in. For drivers who are younger than 21, on the other hand, you only need to have a BAC level between 0.00 percent and 0.02 percent in order to be charged with a DUI.

These charges can impact a young driver for many years to come if convicted. Not only may you face time in jail and large fines, but you can have your license suspended and may also be required to attend rehabilitation programs. It can affect your employment chances, too. Because of these issues, you may want to speak to an attorney if you are facing such charges.

FindLaw Network