Zero Tolerance for Minors Who Drink and Drive

I sound like such a party pooper which is odd when you consider that my office is between the Boat House and the Pub. However, high school graduation parties and senior week season seems like a good time to review the laws associated with underage drinking. Over the past few weeks I have written about the criminal and civil liability faced by adults who serve alcohol to minors and the criminal penalties that can be assessed against a minor who gets caught possessing or drinking alcoholic beverages. Well, by now, no one will invite me to a single party anyway so I may as well let you know about the zero tolerance law regarding minors who drink and drive.

As you probably know, if a police officer stops an adult driver who is weaving his way home, the adult driver will likely be given a blood or breath test and that driver will be presumed to be incapable of safely driving if the alcohol concentration is above .08%. In short, for adults, the law provides that you may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after drinking to a degree that your blood or breath will measure an alcohol concentration of .08% or greater.

A minor, however, may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after drinking enough alcohol such that his or her blood or breath measures an alcohol concentration of .02% or higher. According to charts prepared by the chemists, and depending on certain factors like body weight, for most individuals who weigh less
than 160 pounds, a single alcoholic beverage, just one drink, can result in a blood or breath test reading of .02%.

Therefore, remember two things. First, if you are a minor and you have as little as one drink, if you drive you face not only the risk of an accident, you face all of the risks and penalties, expenses and inconvenience associated with a DUI arrest. Second, remember that the chemists are the real party poopers, I am really a good guy, I am just giving you the law. Have fun but remember, the law provides zero tolerance for the mix of minors, alcohol and driving.

Let’s be careful out there and let’s go Flyers. John A. Orlando, Esquire can be reached in his office at 115 Fayette Street, by phone at (610) 897-2576 or by email at Please visit our website at