Most states have a zero-tolerance (or near zero-tolerance) blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .02 for drivers under the legal drinking age (usually 21) that will result in a DUI/DWI charge. Some states set the BAC level at which a minor may be charged with DUI/DWI at .05. And some states will charge a minor driving a vehicle with a BAC of less than the state’s per se intoxication level (usually .08) with violating a zero-tolerance law such as driving while ability impaired (DWAI)—but will charge a minor with a BAC of .08 or more with per se (pronounced purr-say) DUI/DWI based on the state’s BAC-level definition of intoxication—or, in the absence of a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine, will charge the minor with common law DUI/DWI based on the police officer’s belief the minor was driving while intoxicated.
DUI/DWI criminal offenses, punishments, and terms used for underage DUI/DWI vary from state to state. These laws are generally located in a state’s statutes—often in the penal code or criminal code.