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Grand Rapids DUI Zero Tolerance Laws

Designed to prevent underage minors from drinking and driving, Michigan Zero Tolerance Laws restrict the amount of alcohol a driver under the age of 21 can have in his or her system. Although the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level is .08% for drivers over 21, minors can face criminal charges if their BAC is above .02%—consuming alcohol during an approved religious service is the only exception to this rule. The penalties for violating the state’s law may include fines, community service, and even jail time making it important a Grand Rapids DUI lawyer is contacted by those accused.


If this is your first zero tolerance offense, you may be required to perform up to 360 hours of community service, and be fined as much as $250. As a first-time offender, you cannot receive jail time for violating this law. However, if you are convicted of a second zero tolerance offense within a seven-year period, you may have to spend up to 60 days in jail. Your fine will also increase, now costing twice more ($500) than what a first-time offender would pay.

Once you reach the legal drinking age of 21, any previous zero tolerance convictions can be used against you if you are charged with another alcohol-related crime. As an example, say you were convicted of violating the zero tolerance law when you were 18, and now, at age 25, you are arrested for OWI. Although you committed the offense several years ago, the zero tolerance conviction will count toward Michigan’s repeat offender laws. This means you will be treated as a second OWI offender, rather than a first-time offender—and will thus face much harsher penalties.

Speaking With An Attorney

If you were charged with violating Michigan’s Zero Tolerance Law, it is important for you to speak with an experienced OWI attorney. The consequences of a zero tolerance conviction will impact your life long after you have served your sentence. Don’t let one childish mistake jeopardize your future. Contact attorney Patrick T. Barone to learn more about how Michigan’s zero tolerance laws affect you. With over ten years of experience in OWI defense, Mr. Barone has the knowledge and skill to handle your case. Call now for your free consultation.