When a person who is under the legal drinking age of 21 is driving under the influence or drunk driving, this individual may be accused of an Underage DUI, and would therefore, face several punishments.
Of course, no individual is legally allowed to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point where normal faculties are impaired. If an adult over 21 years has a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, they are considered to be impaired.
Drivers under the age of 21 cannot have a BAC of more than 0.02. If so, they may be convicted of a DUI. Under Florida Statue 322.2616, police officers or other law enforcement professionals are allowed to request the driver to submit to a chemical test if the officer has probable cause to believe that the driver is under the influence.
Penalties for Underage DUI.
In the state of Florida, the penalties apply when the offender has a BAC level higher than the legally allowed amount, or when he or she is accused of drugged driving. A person under 21 who is arrested for a DUI for the first time could face:
- Fines up to $1,000.
- Up to six months in jail.
- Community service.
- Alcohol or drug counseling.
- Vehicle impoundment.
- License suspension for six months.
Although minors can refuse to take a breathalyzer test, they could lose their driver´s license for up to a year if they choose to do so. If a minor has a BAC of 0.08% or higher, they could be charged with a DUI and face penalties equal to that of an adult drunk driver.
Aside from the penalties mentioned above, if an individual who is under 21 is found guilty of a DUI, they will likely be ineligible to have their records sealed or the conviction wiped off their criminal record.
Drinking and driving is something that is completely preventable and should be avoided at all costs. However, if you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, it is imperative to have an experienced criminal attorney on your side. Attorney Russell Spatz of the Spatz Law Firm, PL, in Miami, Florida, has decades of experience building strong defenses for serious DUI charges, including vehicular homicide. To arrange an initial consultation with Russell Spatz, please call the Spatz Law Firm, PL, at 305-442-0200, or contact the firm online.