What Happens If I Get a DWI Under 21 in New York?


What Happens If I Get a DWI Under 21 in New York?

Like most states, New York has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. If you are under 21 and you’re caught drinking and driving in New York, serious consequences await you. Even if you aren’t visibly impaired, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is between 0.2% and 0.5% you’ll be charged with a DUI. This is how the process typically works. However, your case is unique and only a qualified New York DWI attorney can help you make the best decisions regarding your defense.

Temporary Detainment

If you’re under 21 and an officer pulls you over, even if it’s not for a suspected DWI, they may temporarily detain you if they feel you have been drinking. This temporary detainment usually occurs at the police station. If you test between 0.2% and 0.5% you’ll be charged with an underage DWI. Since you have violated the zero tolerance policy, your license might be suspended. However, you’ll have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to determine that.

DMV Administrative Hearing

At the DMV, you’ll get the verdict as to whether or not your license will be suspended. If you’ve never been in trouble before and you don’t have a history of violating the law, you might be let off with a stern warning and/or probation. However, they could also decide to suspend your license. However, this DMV appointment is not like a normal one. It’s an administrative hearing in front of a judge, so you do have a chance to defend yourself.

Defense at the Hearing

You don’t want to go to this hearing without an attorney. The police officers that charged you have to prove several things in order for your license to be suspended. They have to prove that it was a lawful stop, their procedures were lawful, the test was done properly, you did in fact test between the set limits, and various other facts. Only a qualified New York DWI attorney can adequately challenge these assertions and defend you properly, so it’s not wise to go it alone. Hire an attorney to go with you so you can present your best case and obtain the best possible outcome.

License Suspension

If you lose the fight at your hearing, you’ll be faced with the likely possibility of license suspension. If it’s your first time, you might be facing just six months without your license. However, in some cases, your license could be revoked entirely for up to a year. Your particular outcome depends on the specifics of your case and how well you can defend yourself at your hearing.

If you’ve been charged with underage DWI in New York, it’s imperative that you hire a New York DWI attorney immediately. The legal system is intentionally designed to be confusing and difficult for the average person to navigate. Lawyers go to school for years to learn the ins and outs of the law, and only an experienced DWI attorney can help you adequately defend yourself and obtain the best outcome. Don’t risk your future; consult with an attorney today and protect yourself with legal representation.


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