Zero Tolerance DUI
Florida has some of the toughest laws on drunk driving, and the penalties are harsh. That is even more true when the accused in someone younger than 21 years old. In Florida, you must be at least 21 years old to consume alcohol. If you are not of legal drinking age and are caught under the influence while driving, you could face serious consequences.
Florida has a “zero tolerance” policy for underage drinking. If a person younger than 21 is found to be in control of a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .02 or more, he or she could face charges for drunk driving. If you are charged with a DUI, it is important to contact an attorney.
West Palm Beach Zero Tolerance DUI Attorney
The criminal justice system is different for adults and minors. If your child under 21 years old faces drunk driving charges, you need an experienced Palm Beach County zero tolerance DUI attorney who understands the juvenile side of crime on your case.
Andrew D. Stine, P.A. has nearly a decade of experience representing people facing criminal charges in South Florida. He understands what you are going through and the consequences you face. Stine will fight for your rights and work to get the best possible outcome in your case.
Call 561.880.4300 to schedule a free case evaluation. Stine represents clients throughout Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington and Lake Park.
Information About Underage DUI in Florida
- Florida DUI Laws for People Under 21
- Criminal Penalties for DUI Convictions for Underage Drivers
- Additional Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving
- Finding the Best DUI Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County
In Florida, it illegal for anyone under the influence of alcohol or any substance that can impair his or her driving ability to be in control of a vehicle. If a person older than 21 has a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, he or she is considered “per se” impaired, according to Florida law. This means he or she is intoxicated for purposes of the law no matter if his or her faculties actually are impaired.
However, for those under 21 years old, the laws are much stricter and the level of “per se” intoxication is lower. If prosecutors can prove an underage person was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle with a BAC of .02 or more, he or she may be convicted of a DUI, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 322.2616.
Although the levels of intoxication for adults and drivers under 21 are different, the penalties are similar. For a first offense for underage DUI, penalties could include:
- Up to six months in jail or probation
- Up to a $1,000 fine
- Community service
- Mandatory drug or alcohol counseling
- Vehicle impoundment
- License suspension
When a person under 21 is accused of drinking and driving, the consequences can begin immediately. When an officers pulls over a driver, if he or she suspects the person behind the wheel had been drinking, the driver may be asked to take a breathalyzer test. You have a right to refuse the test, but there may be penalties.
If you are under 21 and refuse a blood alcohol content test in Florida, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 322.2616. If the person’s driver license had been suspended previously, it could be suspended another 18 months.
If a person agrees to take the test and fails, his or her license will be suspended for six months for a first violation and one year for a subsequent violation. The suspension period commences on the date the notice of suspension was issued.
However, you may be able to contest a suspension. An accomplished West Palm Beach DUI defense attorney will be able to challenge the traffic stop, question the validity of the blood alcohol content test and attempt to get the charges dropped or reduced. You have 10 days after the time of the arrest to act.
In addition to criminal charges, if you are convicted of an underage DUI, you also could face an increase in insurance premiums that can last for three years after a conviction. You will be considered a high-risk driver, and some companies may be hesitant to offer you a policy.
In addition, a young person’s employment and education may be affected. A criminal conviction will appear on a background check which could prevent you from getting hired. Depending on school policy, you also could be suspended or expelled from school.
If you or your child has been charged with an underage DUI, contact West Palm Beach underage drunk driving defense attorney Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Stine has years of experience fighting for clients who face criminal charges, and he treats each case with utmost importance. Call 561.880.4300 to schedule a free case evaluation.