Zero Tolerance Drinking and Driving

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 level in excess of 0.02 but less than 0.08. If the driver's blood alcohol level is .08% or greater, the underage driver will be charged with the more serious offense of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or as a super drunk if the result is .17% or more.

Zero tolerance is classified as a criminal misdemeanor offense. This offense will stay on a person’s criminal record and driving record. Zero tolerance offenses are not subject to expungement.

Zero Tolerance Penalties
Under 21, BAC .02% - .07%1st Offense2nd Offense Within 7 Years
Responsibility Fee$500.00 for 2 years$500.00 for 2 years
License SanctionsRestricted for 30 daysSuspended 90 days, no driving
Maximum JailNone93 days
Maximum Fine$250.00, plus costs$500.00, plus costs
Community ServiceUp to 360 hoursUp to 60 days

Plus: Court costs which can reach $1,000.00
Police/arrest costs in the approximate range of $300.00 to $600.00
Cancellation from insurance or increased premiums for 5 years

If your child is charged with zero tolerance, or any other criminal offense, contact the ABDO LAW firm to get answers to your most pressing legal and personal questions. In most cases, we can provide you with a same day appointment and realistic assessment of your case.

Zero Tolerance Defense Strategies: Unjustified Traffic Stop, Consent Search of Vehicle

Many youthful drivers in the our Macomb County Courts and elsewhere face unjustified traffic stops, especially when they are active during the late nighttime hours or in areas when younger crowds congregate. Unfortunately, the police may also attempt to persuade or intimidate youthful parties to allow a search of the vehicle. If the search reveals any illegal contraband, such as marijuana or paraphernalia, the youthful offender will be charged with a drug crime. In addition, “zero tolerance” will be charged against the operator of the vehicle if a blood alcohol test is obtained and the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .02% or greater,

There are many plausible defenses for persons charged with any OWI, OWPD, Super Drunk, Child Endangerment or Zero Tolerance. If the traffic stop was not based upon probable cause, or a legitimate traffic violation, ABDO LAW will fight for your rights.

A client’s background, along with our ability to raise legal issues in the underlying case, may provide a basis for a negotiating a dismissal or reduction to a non-drinking offense. Important factors which we can raise to seek favorable resolution include:

  • 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
  • We may request: character letters and/or substance abuse evaluation
  • We may request: that the client engage in substance abuse counseling

Contact the ABDO LAW immediately if you or a child under age 21 is charged with zero tolerance, drunk driving or any criminal offense, misdemeanor or felony, in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair or Wayne counties.