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Over 4 decades of legal excellence

Zero Tolerance Drinking and Driving

Under Age 21 With Any Bodily Alcohol Content

Michigan's "zero tolerance" law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from operating a motor vehicle with "any bodily alcohol content" defined as a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02 but less than 0.08. Even those under age 21 can face more serious DUI charges in the following circumstances:

  • OWI w/BAC .08 to .16
  • OWI w/High BAC .17 or greater or more (super drunk driving)
  • OWPD: Operate with Presence of Drugs (any presence of Schedule 1 drug, marijuana or cocaine
  • OWVI: Operating While Visibly Impaired

Zero tolerance is classified as a criminal misdemeanor offense. This offense will permanently remain on a person's criminal record and driving record. Traffic offenses, including zero tolerance or any other DUI, are not eligible for expungement in Michigan

Zero Tolerance Under 21: Penalties, Fines, Costs, Expenses
Penalties1st Offense2nd Offense Within 7 Years
License Sanctions30 days restrictedSuspended 90 days
Maximum JailNone93 days
Maximum Fine$250.00, plus costs$500.00, plus costs
Community ServiceUp to 360 hoursUp to 60 days

The following other expenses are also associated with any conviction for zero tolerance and any other DUI offense:

  • Court costs which can reach $1,000.00
  • Police/arrest costs in the approximate range of $300.00 to $600.00
  • Vehicle towing and impoundment
  • Restitution for any property damage or injuries
  • Court ordered substance abuse evaluation and counseling
  • Cancellation from insurance or increased premiums for 5 years
Juvenile Court or Adult Criminal Court

In Michigan, a person that is 18 years old or older at the time of commission of a crime (including zero tolerance or any DUI) is treated as an adult. If the person is age 16 or younger, the matter is handled as a juvenile delinquency case and will be handled in the juvenile court in the county where the child resides, not in the county where the offense occurred.

Probation, Substance Abuse Counseling, Random Testing

Probation can be imposed for a maximum period of 2 years. While on probation, the offender can be required to attend counseling, report to a probation officer and test for alcohol and drugs.

Teenagers and Passengers are Vulnerable Targets for Police

Legal problems begin for teenagers when they start driving. Encounters with the police are almost certain for teenagers while driving, hanging out, or as a passenger in vehicle with others. The encounter may begin with a routine traffic stop. During a police encounter, the police may suspect the driver of operating while under the influence. DUI charges may follow should a breath or blood test be positive for alcohol, marijuana or drugs. The police will also look for opportunities to search vehicles, and any occupants, for drugs. Police searches and seizures are subject to rules but can occur without a warrant in the following scenarios:

  • Consent is given.
  • Anything in plain view.
  • Incident to an arrest.
  • Inventory search of vehicle subject to impoundment.

If the search reveals anything illegal, such as marijuana or paraphernalia, the driver and all passengers in the vehicle face possible drug charges.

Advocacy for Your Loved Ones

ABDO LAW will fight for the rights of your loved ones that find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Setting the record straight is our job because we know that there is a lot at stake for youthful offenders when they apply for college and employment. As part of our criminal defense regimen, we may request character letters and a substance abuse evaluation. Here are a few positive factors that we will always use when negotiating with the prosecutor and bring to the court's attention:

  • No prior criminal record.
  • Cooperation with law enforcement at the time of confrontation.
  • No accident, damage to property or personal injuries.
  • Low blood alcohol level.
  • Positive education, employment history.

Our criminal defense lawyers will use every possible means to fight a DUI or criminal matter. If your child qualifies as a youthful offender (age 17 to 23) and charged with a non-traffic crime, we can negotiate to have the matter dismissed and sealed without an entry of guilt pursuant to HYTA.

Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, & St. Clair

EMAIL or CALL Abdo Law for a FREE CONSULTATION. Phone messages are forwarded to our attorneys. We offer same day, evening, weekend appointments and the ability to retain us over the internet. Payment plans and all credit cards accepted.

CALL: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555 or Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo

Client Reviews
The level of service exceeded my expectations, your devotion to my refusal to settle for a lessor misdemeanor was reassuring and inspired, and the team's creative interpretation of the law in finding a comparable civil infraction was legendary. It was a five-star experience. Thank you for refusing to settle when I was innocent of my accused crime. Satisfied Client, Assault Charge DISMISSED
Matt and his staff...turned a terrible situation in my life into a positive life learning experience. Not many court cases end up being a positive in life, but Abdo Law delivered just that. Going with their firm was the best decision I could have made and I owe them everything for turning my bad decision into a extremely manageable situation. Thank you Abdo law!!!! Bill L., Satisfied Client
The Abdo Law Firm represented myself during one of my biggest times of need in my life. They handled my cases with ease and met my expectations far beyond what I anticipated. Not only did they got one, but two domestic violence charges completely dropped. I would have been lost without this five-star Law Firm. Satisfied Client, 2 Separate Assault Charges DISMISSED
Abdo law FOUGHT and got my DUI kicked out of court when my job was on line. Five Stars! Satisfied Client, OWI DISMISSED