If your teenager is convicted of DWI in New York, your teen will not only lose his or her driving privilege. Your teenager may also face genuine obstacles to higher education and good employment. An arrest, however, doesn’t automatically mean a conviction. If your teen is arrested for DWI in Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, Orange, or Rockland County, you’ll need to get legal help at once by contacting an experienced Peekskill DWI defense attorney.

Unlike adults, minors do not have to be intoxicated to be charged with DWI in New York. Because the age limit for drinking is 21, New York is a “zero tolerance” state when it comes to minors and DWI. Any driver under 21 whose blood alcohol content level measures at 0.02 percent – just a trace of alcohol – can be prosecuted for DWI in New York. A teenager’s blood alcohol content level does not have to read above the 0.08 legal limit. If your teenager is convicted, along with a driver’s license suspension, your teen could serve time in custody, pay a fine as high as $1,000, and be ordered to use an ignition interlock device after the license suspension is lifted. An ignition interlock device is placed on the teen’s vehicle to prevent him or her from driving under the influence. Your teen will have to blow into the device in order to get the car to start. If there is any alcohol detected on your teen’s breath, then the engine will not start, and the authorities will be notified that your teen was trying to drive after drinking alcohol. However, if there is no trace of alcohol, the engine will start and the teen will be allowed to carry on driving.

If you are a parent, it’s imperative to talk with your teens frequently about the dangers of drinking and driving. It’s also important to understand that teens mimic adults, so if you are a parent and you are struggling with a drinking or a substance abuse issue, get help. Fewer than ten percent of New York’s licensed drivers are under 21, but underage drivers are involved in 14 percent of the DWI-related accidents that result in fatalities in this state. Minors who drink and drive are also involved in about 2,000 non-fatal accidents in New York every year.

Sometimes, teens feel that they are invincible or untouchable in the eyes of the law, and this is not the case. Even if you are a minor, you are not exempt from serious consequences if you are charged with a DWI in the state of New York. It’s important that parents teach their children that this is a serious crime with severe, long-lasting consequences.

If your teenager is arrested for DWI in Westchester County, put an experienced Peekskill DWI defense attorney on the case at once. If property damage, injuries, or fatalities are involved, the need for experienced, knowledgeable legal counsel is even more imperative. Let a Peekskill DWI lawyer fight on your teenager’s behalf, and after any DWI arrest, make the call as quickly as possible.

By: Kimberly Pelesz

Family law and criminal defense attorney Kimberly A. Pelesz received a B.S. degree magna cum laude and an M.P.A. degree summa cum laude from Binghamton University. She earned her J.D. from Pace University School of Law in White Plains, where she was selected for Phi Alpha Delta. Her charitable activities include work with My Sisters’ Place in White Plains and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Humane Education Taskforce.

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