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Get Defense for Underage DUI Charges in FL
If you or a family member have been accused and arrested for underage DUI, the first step you should take is to contact a proven Tampa DUI lawyer. Florida law takes underage drunk driving very seriously and it can hurt a young person’s future should they be convicted.
Florida Underage Drunk Driving Laws
While underage drinking arrests can take place in any context, it is not uncommon for these to be the result of a DUI arrest. In Florida, there is a zero tolerance law in effect for drivers under the age of 21. If law enforcement test the subject and find that there is any trace amount of alcohol on their breath or in their system, then they will likely make a DUI arrest. Compare this to the typical .08 percent BAC DUI standard for those at or above the legal drinking age of 21. Having a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.02% or above is enough to be convicted to driving under the influence if you are under the age of 21.
Florida Underage DUI Penalties
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is required to suspend or revoke a violator’s driver’s license or driving privileges upon an underage DUI arrest per Florida Statute § 322.2616. An under 21 individual could lose their license for six months should they have a BAC or 0.02%. If it was their second offense, the suspension will increase to one year. Minors that refuse to take breath tests will face administrative license suspension for one year. Upon a second refusal to submit to a breath test, this penalty will increase to an 18 month suspension.
An underage DUI arrest, if convicted, could seriously harm a person’s driving record and criminal record. If you or your son or daughter was arrested for under-21 DUI then you have ten days in which you can request a DHSMV hearing to contest a license suspension.
Florida DMV Hearings for Under 21 DUI
If you are arrested for driving under the influence, you have ten days to request an administrative license hearing. If you request one, you have a chance to fight your license suspension by attending an administrative license hearing otherwise known as a DMV or DHSMV hearing. Permission to request a DHSMV hearing is allotted for in s. 322.2615 and s. 322.64 of the Florida Statutes.
Drivers have the option of requesting a formal hearing, informal hearing or a hardship license review. As of July 1, 2013, people who are required to drive for business or school purposes may not have to face license suspension. Speak with a Tampa underage DUI lawyer from our firm for more information.
Open Container & Minors in Possession in Florida
In Florida, it is illegal to sell or otherwise give alcohol to those under the drinking age of 21. It is also illegal for an underage individual or another individual to purposefully conceal the age of a person so that they can obtain alcohol. It is also illegal for anyone to possess an open container of alcohol in a vehicle. This means that if an individual under the age of 21 was not drinking, but still possessed an open container in their vehicle, they could be arrested. It is even illegal, per section 2B, to be seated in a vehicle even while it is stopped.
Underage DUI & Tampa College Students
Many of those who are arrested for drunk driving, especially in the Tampa Bay area, are college or university students. Many students enter into college directly after high school, meaning they are about 18 years of age on average. The legal drinking age is 21, and in Florida, the blood alcohol limit is lower for those who have not yet reached that legal drinking age.
If you were arrested on or near your college campus, then there is a chance that University Police administered your field sobriety tests or breath test. The university police are not as experienced or trained as a regular law enforcement official would be, so we could contest the accuracy of the results. DUIs also pose additional threats to college students, as they could face university discipline such as suspension or expulsion.
Representation for Underage DUI Charges in FL
As minors can lose their license for drinking and driving, it is extremely important that they and their families do everything possible to get the charges dropped. If they were found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.05% or higher, the penalties will be more severe, including substance abuse courses.
To learn more about DUI and related charges, contact a Tampa underage DUI lawyer from Taracks & Associates. As a former prosecutor, we have experience on both sides of the courtroom and understand how to create the most strategic defense for our clients.
To learn more, contact a Tampa underage DUI attorney from our team as soon as possible. We offer a free case evaluation so call today!