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Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance

Zero tolerance is a law passed by the government stating that any individual under the age of 21 must not drink and drive. Even just a glass of beer prohibits a minor from driving. If he or she still drives after drinking, the minor in question violates the law and therefore subject to punishment. It does not matter whether the minor was physically impaired upon drinking or not, the law clearly spells out that drinking and driving for minors are totally prohibited. That is what you call zero tolerance.

The government is not to blame for releasing a law such as zero tolerance. Car accidents are becoming more and more rampant so they need to pass a law in order to minimize it. It is considered illegal for minors to even buy alcoholic drinks, much less drive under the influence of it.

There are two components of the zero tolerance law that minors should take note of in case they get charged for it. The first component is called Illegal Per Se Laws. The law prohibits a driver to drive a motor vehicle if he or she has an alcohol concentration on his or her blood at a specific level. For those 21 years old and above, driving with an alcohol content of over point zero eight could spell trouble. If you are a minor, those individuals falling below 21 years of age, even as little as 0.01 or 0.02 alcohol concentration level will mean breaking the zero tolerance law.

The second component is the Administrative Per Se Laws. Through this law, the licensing agency has the right to revoke a driver’s license when found guilty of driving under the influence.

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Promoting the zero tolerance law is essential to keep kids off alcohol in such a young age, to protect them from car accidents and to protect other people on the road that they can collide with. For the states that already enacted the law, reports say that nighttime fatal crashes that involves underage drivers already went down by 16%. As for those states who have yet to enforce the zero tolerance law, their fatal crashes went up by one percent.

For the law to be fully effective, information dissemination is very important. How can people follow it if they have no idea that such a law exists? The government is doing their job getting the public informed through education and media attention. Public service announcements are already in place in some states placing it on the radio, television and on newspapers. There are also printed materials being distributed in schools as well as videos that show information on the zero tolerance law.