Zero Tolerance Law
Under Age Drinking In Michigan


The Zero Tolerance Law makes it a misdemeanor criminal offense for a person under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with any presence of alcohol in his or her body except for that which would generally be consumed at a recognized religious ceremony.

Any presence is defined as a BAC of .02% or above. Under the Michigan Zero Tolerance Law, if you are a minor and have been found to have operated a motor vehicle with a BAC of more than .02% but less than the legal limit of .08, you may be charged of Under Age 21 Operating With Any Bodily Alcohol Content (Zero Tolerance Law).

If you are convicted of a first offense under Michigan’s Zero Tolerance law, the following penalties may be imposed:

  • Up to a $250 fine, or up to 360 hours of community service, or both.

  • Driver’s license is restricted for 30 days.

  • 4 points are added to the offender’s driving record.

  • Driver Responsibility Fee of $500 for 2 consecutive years.

It should be noted that a conviction of a second charge under the Zero Tolerance Law within seven years is punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

If you are a minor and your BAC while operating a motor vehicle was equal to or greater than the legal limit of .08%, you may be charged with Operating While Intoxicated as if you were an adult.

Under Michigan law no differentiation is made between minor and adult drivers who are found to be operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08% or above. Upon conviction, the same Michigan drunk driving penalties apply irrespective of the age of the offender.

Although a Michigan drunk driving offense under the Zero Tolerance Law is not punishable by incarceration, it remains a serious offense.  It implicates the need to engage the services of a Michigan criminal defense attorney who specializes in drunk and drugged driving defense.

Prior convictions are considered by the court in the case of repeat offenders. As a practical matter, any adult driver facing an DUI / OWI charge who was previously convicted under the Zero Tolerance Law may be charged with an Michigan DUI / OWI Second Offense.

One caveat is that state law limits only one Zero Tolerance Law conviction for enhancement purposes. That means that if the offending driver had two or more previous underage violations, he or she could not be legally charged with a Michigan DUI / OWI Third Offense which is a felony. Stated another way, the predicates for a felony charge within the context of the Zero Tolerance Law are two or more DUI convictions plus a Zero Tolerance conviction.



If you have been charged with Zero Tolerance, please submit the facts of your case on-line or call attorney Edward Earl Duke directly at 248-409-0484.

Click Here to Contact Edward Earl Duke

Our Location

180 High Oak, Suite 205

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

(248) 409-0484 

Zero Tolerance Law - Under Age Drinking in Michigan
Article Name
Zero Tolerance Law - Under Age Drinking in Michigan
Experienced drunk driving attorney Edward Duke explained what the Zero Tolerance Law is in Michigan as it pertains to under age drinking.
Duke Law Group