Underage drivers cause a significant number of serious accidents across the state of Florida every single year. As a result, there are strict penalties in place for anyone under 21 whom local police catch drinking and driving. The consequences of a DUI offense while underage can be severe, and it is important that you take any charges seriously.
If police have arrested you for drinking and driving, a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney may be able to help you evaluate the charges and determine the best course of action. Leader & Leader P.A. is a qualified Florida law firm with more than 60 years of legal experience.
Michael Leader is a highly proficient attorney who has received recognition from the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register for his ability in the courtroom. Call us at 954-523-2020 to schedule an initial consultation today, and read on for more information about DUI offenses for underage drivers in Florida.
Driving Under the Influence in Florida
In the state of Florida, people cannot consume alcohol if they are under the age of 21. Unlike in some other states, there are no exceptions to this law.
As a result, people cannot have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.02 percent if they are under 21, according to DMV.org. Conversely, the maximum blood alcohol content allowed for drivers over the age of 21 is 0.08 percent.
Possible Penalties for Minors Facing DUI Charges
Penalties for minors facing DUI charges can be harsh, particularly for repeat offenders. According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers are required to comply with an officer’s request to test their blood, urine or breath for alcohol.
If they refuse, the DMV will suspend their license for one year. If a driver refuses a second time, he or she will receive an 18-month suspension. These penalties also apply to minor drivers.
If a driver’s blood alcohol content is higher than 0.08 percent, a judge may sentence him or her to jail time, even if it’s a first offense. A judge may sentence offenders to between 10 days and 12 months in jail for a second DUI offense. Fines range from $1,000 to $4,000, depending on the blood alcohol content at the scene and whether it is the first or second offense.
It is common for insurance companies to cancel policies for underage DUI offenders. Underage offenders may also have a hard time renewing their policies or finding low premium automobile insurance.
Alternatively, the insurance company may significantly increase monthly premiums as they then consider the driver a greater risk. The impact of a minor being charged with DUI can last up to five years, at which point the insurance company may reevaluate the situation.
If you are facing DUI charges, contact a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer today. At Leader & Leader P.A., we have extensive criminal law experience, and we can examine your case to best determine how to defend your rights.
We are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for initial consultations, and the first consultation is free. Call us today at 954-523-2020 to schedule an appointment.