Are There Different Penalties for High Blood Alcohol Levels?

Interviewer: What happens if you have a client that’s tested at a level of 0.04 versus 0.14? Are there different penalties, or it’s all the same zero tolerance?

Dale: We have to remember that the court has discretion. The judge could say, “A level of 0.14 is high for a 17-year-old. I’m going to recommend that he gets treatment, and I’m going to suspend his license a little bit longer than the minimum of 90 days. I’m going to give him two years.”

The courts do have different options available to them regarding sentencing. Alternatively, the courts could say say, “This level is pretty high. This person is consuming quite a bit of alcohol at a young age, so I’m going to require him to have the Interlock on his vehicle. That would measure any alcohol consumption by having the driver blow into the in order to start the car.”

Interviewer: So there is this range of penalties available to the judges and depending on how severe the circumstances, the sentence will fall somewhere in that range.

Dale: The sentencing also depends on in which court the case is being heard.

By Dale Naticchia