What Does Zero Tolerance Mean?
The phrase “zero tolerance” is used in many different applications. Zero tolerance policies are often found in schools and the workplace. They’re put in place to discourage people from engaging in and placing a heavy emphasis on specific unacceptable behaviour. These policies typically cover drug and weapon possession in schools, and sexual harassment in a professional setting.
Zero tolerance is also used in the context of alcohol-related DUI and drug-related DUI, or DUID. To state the obvious, zero tolerance means that the threshold of what is and what is not allowed is lowered to nothing. Literally zero. Violations of zero tolerance policies – whether it’s school/work-related or drunk/drugged driving – can and will result in the harshest penalties imposed, and often without a warning. These penalties include expulsion from school, termination from employment, or forfeiture of your driver’s license or vehicle. Below, we explain the circumstances of zero tolerance as it applies to the two most common types of violations.
Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs (DUID)
Zero tolerance polices are implemented for drugged driving because a scientific consensus on what levels of intoxication are for every drug, don’t exist yet. Scientific standards for connecting the presence of drugs in one’s system to performance and impairment has yet to be determined. In the absence of comprehensive and unanimous data that forensic toxicologists can agree on, zero tolerance policies are in effect for those drivers that have any traceable amount of lawful or unlawful drugs in their system.
Prosecution of DUID is different than that of DUI. The effects of alcohol intoxication are generally the same for all users, and proven with blood alcohol content and the observations of the arresting officer. However, for DUID, usually the observations and testimony of the arresting officer and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) are you used to secure the conviction. 49 states now use Drug Recognition Experts to identify symptoms and determine which drugs caused the impairment.
As of this writing, 18 states (Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin) have strict zero tolerance for drugged driving. Three states (California, New York, and Hawaii), while also being zero tolerance, have separate statutes that identify the differences between drunk driving, drugged driving, and a combination of the two.
Zero Tolerance For Underage Drunk Driving
In many states, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to have a BAC greater than .02%. Some states have a zero tolerance law, making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to have any traceable amount of alcohol in your system. In most states – in an effort to curtail underage DUI – the penalties for underage DUI can be more severe than an adult getting a DUI. Underage DUI offenders can expect to pay thousands in fines (not including vehicle impoundment), months of community service, revocation of driving privileges for a year or more, and strict supervised probation. In addition, the underage DUI offender may have to disclose his/her conviction on college applications and work applications – which could harm their chances at college enrollment or employment. If you or your child have been arrested for underage DUI – consult with a DUI attorney immediately.