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Zero tolerance laws relate to automatic punishments for anyone who breaks laws that relate to drugs and alcohol. This means that you are definitely going to be punished if you engage in illegal actions that relate to these substances. There are no exceptions to the rule. The bottom line being that you will incur a severe punishment without consideration to circumstances.

The purpose of zero tolerance laws is to discourage people from partaking in certain offenses or to control their behaviors around substances. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, some states actually lowered the drinking age from 21 to 18. This was a big mistake as there was a dramatic increase in fatal car accidents for teenagers during this time period. Due to these findings, in 1984 a national drinking age was set at 21. Statistics show that since then, these laws have been successful to reduce the number of fatal crashes and accidents involving people who were drinking or using drugs. It is important that people are aware of the zero tolerance law and are open to handing over their keys to a designated driver so as not to incur such penalties.

These laws are can apply to all age groups but are of particular significance to people under the age of twenty-one. Minors who engage in activities involving alcohol while driving can have their licenses revoked. There are many laws that are different in each state. In Georgia there is a zero tolerance law stating that you could lose your license if your blood alcohol content is at least 0.08. Meanwhile, people in the New York for DUI's can be punished for having a BAC of 0.02 or greater. People who have contents of 0.08 or higher will be punished in a criminal court. And in Texas part of the zero-tolerance strategy is to choose a weekend or an entire week to increase the number of officers on the road keeping an eye out for drivers who may be intoxicated. During these sweeps, hundreds of arrests are made.

Zero tolerance laws are also in place with regards to drug use. You may be forced to serve about one or two days in jail if you are in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa or Utah and you are found to have been using controlled substances before driving.

The amount of a controlled substance that you have to use before you are punished by a zero tolerance policy can vary by state. You have to have at least 5 mg/mL of substance in your urine in order to be arrested in Pennsylvania. That rule has been placed at 10 mg/mL for people in Ohio.

If you have been arrested for alcohol or drug related crimes, the court might mandate that you take a drug and alcohol awareness class as retribution for your behavior, along with fines, possible jail time and revocation of your license for a period of time. This is usually a very stressful and chaotic time, as individuals may have to miss work or school to attend court hearings and come up with a lot of cash to pay the fines. The only bright side is that alcohol and drug classes are now available to take online. They are low in cost and can be taken from any web-based computer at any time of the day or night so you do not need to miss work or school to attend a traditional classroom setting. Make sure to do your research when selecting a class and first confirm that the court will accept the online class you have chosen. Look for a class that is designed and operated by a licensed and practicing specialist in the field.