What should you know about zero tolerance laws?

In Missouri, there are zero tolerance laws in effect. You may have heard of them in passing, and you may know that they can have a heavy impact on underage drivers. But exactly what purpose do zero tolerance laws truly have, and what impacts could you face if charged with an underage DUI?

FindLaw talks about zero tolerance laws, which are the nationwide laws that govern underage drunk driver are handled. For those who are above the legal age for drinking, a person needs to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of over 0.08 percent in order to be charged with a DUI-related crime. If you are below 21 years of age, on the other hand, there is much less leniency.

“Zero tolerance” refers to the fact that underage drinkers who have virtually any amount of alcohol in their system are immediately subject to being charged with a DUI. The percent can range from 0.00 to 0.02 percent BAC, depending on the city or state.

The reason for these strict laws is to attempt cutting down on underage drinking fatalities. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shown that up to one third of driving-related fatalities in the 15-20 year old age group are instigated by underage drinking and driving. However, this also means that simply having a glass of wine with dinner could be enough to get you arrested if you are underage. For this reason, underage drivers facing DUI-related charges may want to contact an attorney for further information and aid.

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