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Drunk driving as a Pennsylvania teen

Driving while having some amount of alcohol in your system is never a good idea. When a person over the age of 21 is found to be driving while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, he or she will likely have his or her driver's license suspended for a minimum of six months.

A person under the age of 21 will probably have less driving experience than a person over the age of 21. In addition, in the United States, a person under the age of 21 is not allowed to consume alcohol whatsoever, whether he or she is behind the wheel or not. Therefore, an underage person who is found to be under the influence of alcohol is breaking two different laws at once.

What does the zero tolerance law in Pennsylvania mean?

The zero tolerance law means that while those over the age of 21 can legally drive when they have a small amount of alcohol in their system, those under the age of 21 cannot legally drive with any alcohol in their system.

For example, a 25-year-old driver gets pulled over while behind the wheel and is asked to take a Breathalyzer test. When he or she measures a BAC of .05 percent, he or she is within the legal limit and is able to continue. However, if the same thing occurred with an 18-year-old driver, he or she would be charged with a DUI.

If you have been found with alcohol in your system as a driver under the age of 21, it is important to take action immediately since the consequences can be serious.

Source: CDC, "Teen Drinking and Driving," accessed April 12, 2018

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