In the United States, it is illegal to purchase or consume alcohol if you are under 21 years of age. Since you aren't supposed to be drinking at all, drinking and driving is an especially big problem for a young teen.
The state of Florida imposes zero tolerance laws for teen drivers in Florida Statute 322.2616. This means that a teenager with a BAC above .02 can be considered guilty of drunk driving and can lose his or her license to an administrative suspension. To fight against this suspension and to have a chance of getting your driver's license back and avoiding the consequence of a DUI, it is very important to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney to help in underage DUI cases. If you or an underaged family member has been caught drinking and driving, The Ansara Law Firm can help.Underage DUI in Florida
Under Florida law, police officers and law enforcement have the right to administer a blood alcohol test whenever there is probable cause that a teen is driving while impaired. If the results of the BAC test reveal a blood alcohol content of .02 or higher, then the teen can be considered driving under the influence under Florida's zero tolerance rules.
A teen whose BAC is above the legal limit will typically have his or her driver's license suspended immediately. In some cases, however, a temporary permit to drive for 10 days may be issued. After this ten days is up, the teen will no longer be able to drive at all unless he or she has petitioned to the DMV for an administrative review hearing.
The length of the driver's license suspension for underaged DUI is going to depend upon the teen's blood alcohol content at the time. If he or she has a BAC between .02 and .05 and if the offense is a first DUI offense, the license suspension will last for six months. If the BAC is above .05, however, the license suspension can remain in effect until the teen's 21st birthday or until a substance abuse evaluation is conducted and counseling completed. For repeat offenders, the term of the suspension only grows longer.
In addition to a license suspension, a teen who has a BAC above .08 can also be arrested for drunk driving and subject to additional penalties as determined by the juvenile or adult justice system, up to and including secure incarceration. A criminal record may also result which, depending upon the teen's age and the nature of the DUI conviction, may or may not be sealed upon the teen's 21st birthday.
Underage DUI is, therefore, a very serious matter- and it should be taken seriously. If you or one of your family members has been charged with underage DUI, you should contact an experienced Boward County DUI attorney right away to learn what your options are and how to proceed to minimize or avoid the consequences of a teen drinking-and-driving conviction.
If you have been charged with DUI in South Florida, call The Ansara Law Firm today for your free initial consultation at (954) 761-4011! You can also contact us online. It only takes a minute to call, but it can make all the difference in the world.