When it comes to underage drunk driving, there are many factors that those who have not reached the age of 21 need to recognize before they get behind the wheel. For starters, zero tolerance laws prohibit those who are under 21 from driving with any alcohol in their system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every state has these zero tolerance laws in place to prevent underage drunk driving.
Unfortunately, some drivers who are under 21 are wrongly accused of driving drunk because they fail a sobriety test. After all, with such a low threshold, failing a sobriety test even though one has not consumed alcohol is especially likely.
Zero tolerance laws and false DUI allegations
Some young drivers fail breathalyzer tests as a result of residual alcohol in their mouths, even though they did not drink any alcoholic beverages. For example, cough syrup, breath spray and mouthwash often contain alcohol and can lead to inaccurate readings on a breathalyzer test. Zero tolerance laws mean that a reading of 0.01 is illegal for drivers who have not reached the legal drinking age, and the consequences associated with these allegations are very serious (such as the loss of driving privileges, financial penalties and a shattered reputation).
Other considerations regarding zero tolerance laws
Sometimes, teens are pressured to consume alcohol at parties or gatherings with their friends. Even responsible teens who consume a very small amount of alcohol and do not show any signs of intoxication can find themselves in a very difficult position if they get behind the wheel. It is pivotal for young drivers and their parents to handle these cases carefully and understand the long-term impact of DUI charges.