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DUI » Underage DUI » Penalties for Under 21 DUI

Penalties for Under 21 DUI

Underage DUI cases work differently than cases involving drivers who are 21 years or older and arrested for driving under the influence. In Florida, a driver who is under the age of 21 may be pulled over and detained if law enforcement has probable cause to believe:

  • The driver's abilities are impaired by alcohol and / or drugs; or
  • The driver has any amount of alcohol in his or her system.

Retaining legal counsel is important if you would like to have the opportunity to challenge license suspension and/or criminal charges stemming from an alleged under 21 DUI offense. With Thomas & Paulk to handle your case, you can rest assured that a legal professional will be fighting for you, whether this is at your DMV hearing or in criminal court. Our team is highly experienced in handling drunk driving cases in particular. Our skill in this field can make a considerable difference in the outcome of your case.

Penalties for Driving with a BAC of 0.02 Percent or Higher

An under 21 driver may face driver's license suspension for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02 percent or greater, which is one-fourth the level at which an over 21 driver may be arrested for DUI. Though weight, metabolism, diet and gender may affect the body's ability to process alcohol, a single alcoholic beverage would typically be enough to result in a BAC of 0.02 percent. Even a portion of a drink would be enough for some people.

This level of underage DUI may result in administrative license suspension. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has the authority to suspend the license of a driver who is under the age of 21 who drives with a BAC of 0.02 percent or who refuses a breath test to determine his or her BAC after being lawfully detained for suspected underage DUI. The following suspension penalties may be enforced:

  • First underage DUI offense: 6 months
  • First breath test refusal: 1 year
  • Second or subsequent underage DUI offense: 1 year
  • Second or subsequent refusal: 18 months

Penalties for Driving with a BAC of 0.08 Percent or Higher

If a driver who is under the age of 21 may face criminal charges and harsh penalties if arrested for driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater. The penalties for this level of offense may include (for a first offense):

  • A fine of $500 to $1,000
  • 50 hours of community service, or additional fine of $10 per hour
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Vehicle impoundment for up to 10 days
  • Driver's license revocation for 180 days to 1 year

If the driver is also accused of causing a car accident and injuring another person, or if he or she has prior DUI conviction on his or her record, greatly enhanced penalties may apply. A defendant may even face felony charges.

Find Out How You Can Avoid Serious Penalties for Underage DUI

Every case is different, but you do have options to avoid license suspension and other penalties for under 21 DUI. The first step is to discuss the matter with a local attorney who can answer your questions and advise you of your best options at this point. Our team is standing by to see how we can help you.

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