As a teen driver, you belong to a special licensing classification called Provisional Licensees. Holding this type of license, you already know you have to adhere to certain "provisions" that govern who can be in your car with you while you are driving and the hours when you can legally drive. There is one other law that not only applies to provisional drivers, but to all drivers under 21 years of age - the Zero Tolerance Law.
What is the Zero Tolerance Law? This law states that it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01% or higher if you are under 21 years of age. Your BAC is measured by a test given to you by a police officer. Under this law, on your first offense, your driving privilege will be suspended for one year if:
- your BAC is .01% or higher, or
- you refuse to take the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, or
- you fail to complete the PAS test.
What is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC)? This is the legal percentage of alcohol that is concentrated in your blood before you are considered an impaired driver. For you (under 21), your BAC is .01% or more. For persons over 21, the BAC is .08% or more. For persons over 21 who drive commercial vehicles, the BAC is .04% or more.
What else does the law say about alcohol and drivers under 21 years of age?
The following also applies to you:
- It is against the law to purchase beer, wine, or hard liquor.
- It is illegal to have alcohol on your person or in your car unless you are with your parent.