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What is the difference between reckless driving and a Zero Tolerance charge?

Swartz Creek, MI |

Is the difference between the two simply that one involves alcohol and the other doesn't? I'm not really sure what the difference between the two is.

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Attorney answers 6


Zero Tolerance has a stiffer license sanction.



Does a reckless driving charge show if alcohol was involved?

David B. Carter Jr.

David B. Carter Jr.


I do not believe so.


These are completely different charges. Reckless driving is a non alcoholic related offense which would make it a great plea reduction. The only issue is that it involves a 3 month hard suspension. Usually if the prosecutor is willing (which many many times they are not), I try to get it reduced to a careless driving (civil infraction).


zero tolerance is for under 21 and a stiffer sentence. A reckless driving is a lesser charge.


Reckless driving is a non alcohol related offense. It carries 6 points and a $500 per year driver responsibility fee fee for 2 years. It also has a possibility of 90 days in jail. Reckless also carries a 90 hard suspension, that means no restricted privilege.


I agree with everything every other attorney said. Reckless is a non-alcoholic offense that carries 6 points on your license and a $500 responsibility fee for 2 consecutive years. A zero tolerance is a more serious alcohol charge, with penalties of Four points on driver record, $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years, and fines and court costs. Note that a Reckless carries a 90 suspended license (as the other attorney pointed out), and there can be no hardship appeal for this. It will be suspended for 90 days.


Reckless can apply to any driver of any age, but doesn't involve alcohol. Zero tolerance involves only underage drivers under the influence. Other sentencing guidelines are as the other attorneys have outlined above. If you are facing either one of these charges you should consult an attorney to get the best representation you can.

Is this “helpful” or a “best” answer? Please mark it if it was, and I hope it was! Thank you! Nancy L. Ballast is an attorney in west Michigan, with a practice centered on family law, estate planning, and criminal law.

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