Here in Florida, the law takes drinking and driving very seriously, especially for those who are not old enough to legally consume alcohol at all. If a person under 21 years of age drinks and drives, he or she may forfeit driving privileges for a significant amount of time. If you or someone you love recently received underage DUI charges, it is important to build a strong defense as soon as possible to recover driving privileges and protect your other rights.
According to Florida law, it is not legal for anyone under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle or have physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than .02. If an officer stops an underage driver and has any reason to believe that the driver’s BAC exceeds .02, the officer has the authority to ask the driver to submit to a test to determine his or her actual BAC.
If the driver fails the test by exceeding a .02 BAC, or if the driver refuses to submit to the test, the officer may issue criminal charges, take away the driver’s license to drive, and issue the driver a 10-day temporary driving permit. Should the charges result in a conviction, the driver may lose the license for six-months to a year, for a first offense. However, it is important to remember that this is only in the case of conviction.
Those who face underage DUI charges should do everything they can to build a strong legal defense and fight the charges. In some cases, it is possible to defeat the charges altogether, and even if this is not the case, the driver can still use the defense to protect his or her rights in the process, potentially reducing the consequences.
Source: Lindsey & Ferry PA, “Drunk Driving Charges,” accessed Feb. 16, 2018