Underage DUI

In the state of Florida it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. It is also illegal for a person under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Although the legal BAC limit for a driver 21 years or older is .08 percent, an underage driver will face DUI charges if their BAC is .02 percent or higher.

Underage drinking and driving is taken very seriously in Florida, and the consequences can be severe. Work with an experienced underage DUI attorney at the Ocala firm of Dunham & Ingram, LLC, who knows how to combat these charges.

Penalties For Under-21 DUI

In an effort to reduce underage drunk driving, the state sentences violators to harsh penalties. If you are convicted of under-21 DUI, your sentencing could include the following penalties:

  • Under 21 driver with BAC of .02 percent or above: If a first offense, the driver's license will be suspended for six months. If the driver has previously been convicted of DUI, their license will be suspended for one year.
  • Under 21 driver who refuses breath or blood test: For refusal to submit to a chemical BAC test the driver's license will be suspended for one year. If a second or subsequent refusal, the driver will lose their license for 18 months.
  • Under 18 driver with a BAC of .02 percent or above: Minors charged with DUI will face a six-month license suspension for a first offense, as well as mandatory evaluation at an addictions facility or completion of an alcohol education program.
  • Under 21 driver with BAC of .08 percent or above: If an underage driver is convicted of DUI with a BAC of .08 percent or above, they face the same penalties as a driver aged 21 or older. The penalties for a first-DUI offense in Florida include fines of $500 to $1,000, driver's license suspension of 180 days to one year, vehicle impoundment, incarceration in county jail up to six months and 50 hours of community service.

What If I Drive With A Suspended License?

License suspension is a common consequence of DUI in Florida, and this penalty can cause a great deal of inconvenience and limit personal freedoms. It is important to understand, however, that license suspension is strictly enforced, and if you violate your suspension you could face even more severe penalties. If you are caught driving with a suspended license, you will be charged with a criminal offense.

The Impact Of Underage DUI Conviction

Beyond license suspension and such consequences as alcohol education or community service, being convicted of underage drunk driving could have serious and widespread implications upon your life and future. A juvenile criminal record can affect your opportunities in a number of ways, and the mark from a DUI could impact your ability to gain acceptance into certain colleges and universities, obtain scholarships, enter the military, gain certain professional licenses or obtain a license to carry a firearm.

You may be able to avoid the harsh effects of a juvenile conviction by having your record expunged, which erases criminal offenses from the record of a qualifying individual. If you would like to learn more about expungement to remove any juvenile charges from your criminal record, or about our underage DUI defense services, call our office today at 352-433-1107 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our lawyers.