How Does Florida Penalize Underage Drinking and Driving?
When an individual under the age of 18 years old is caught driving while intoxicated they may face special charges for Underage DUI and be subject to a variety of penalties. Here’s what to know about how Florida treats underage drinking and driving and how to defend yourself or a loved one who has been arrested for an Underage DUI.
Differences In DUI Laws Between Drivers Over and Under the Age of 21 In South Florida
Driving or being in direct control of an automobile while impaired by alcohol or drugs is illegal. A blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater in adult drivers over the age of 21 is deemed impairment. However, the laws are stricter for drivers under 21 and an experienced South Florida Juvenile Defense Attorney can offer the best possible protection for your child’s future.
For these individuals, a BAC of greater than 0.02 percent is illegal. If a responding officer has reasonable cause to think a driver is impaired by a substance, they may compel the motorist to undergo a chemical test under Florida Statute 322.2616. Refusal to submit to a breath or another chemical testing can lead to automatic license suspension.
Penalties Faced By Underage Drivers Convicted of DUI in South Florida
The below penalties are assessed in Florida if the defendant has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level that is greater than the legal limit, or if they are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. An individual under 21 could face the following penalties:
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to 6 months incarceration in a county jail
- Mandatory drug and alcohol counseling
- Mandatory community service
- License suspension for up to 6 months
- Impoundment of their vehicle
If a minor’s BAC is 0.08 percent or greater, they may incur the same consequences as an adult who committed the same infraction.
Charged With a DUI Under the Age of 21? Get Help Now From a Criminal Defense Lawyer
It is absolutely unnecessary to drink and drive, and it should be strictly avoided. However, many DUI charges are false or the result of an overzealous or untrained police officer. Other people face charges of drinking and driving after a momentary lapse of judgment, a mistake many people are capable of making.
If you or a family member has been charged with drinking and driving, it’s critical to have a skilled Florida criminal defense lawyer on your team. Call Michael T. Rabideau today for a consultation at (561) 820-4848. Serving all of West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington, and surrounding areas in Florida.