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Zero Tolerance

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Definition - What does Zero Tolerance mean?

Every state has made it illegal for a person under the age of 21 to purchase or publicly possess an alcoholic beverage. Zero tolerance laws support this objective by making it illegal for any person under 21 to drive a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their blood. If a driver under the age of 21 is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol they are required to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test. If the driver refuses to submit to the blood alcohol concentration test or if they submit and fail the BAC test they may have their driver's license immediately suspended.

Proponents of the zero tolerance policy argue that it effectively decreases the incidence of underage drinking and has proven to be an effective sanction for young drivers. Evidence also suggests that this policy can decrease the number of fatalities from alcohol related deaths and that these polices complement other laws which have been passed to decreased age drinking.

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