Jacksonville Underage DUI Lawyer
Defending Under 21 DUI Charges in Duval, Clay, and Nassau Counties
At First Coast Criminal Defense, we understand the consequences of drinking and driving under 21 in Florida. If you have been charged with or if your child has been arrested for under 21 DUI in Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties, contact our Jacksonville underage DUI lawyers from First Coast Criminal Defense right away. The penalties for underage DUI in Florida are severe and could have lasting, life-altering consequences.
Florida Zero Tolerance Law
The state of Florida has a “zero-tolerance” policy for drinking and driving under 21. This law dictates that drivers under the age of 21 operating any motor vehicle (cars, motorcycles, boats, etc.) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02% or higher can be arrested and charged with a DUI. This will result in loss of license for 6 months.
What Is the BAC Limit for Someone Under 21?
In the state of Florida, the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit for those under 21 is 0.02%, which is far lower than the 0.08% limit for adults 21 and over.
If you are under the age of 21, pulled over, and cited for DUI, you face similar penalties as those over the legal drinking age.
Florida DUI Under 21 Consequences
Underage drivers cannot receive jail time for a DUI conviction, but this charge carries significant penalties, including fines and license suspension. In addition, the person’s car insurance rates may increase and they may be required to complete an alcohol education program. If someone under 21 is convicted of a DUI, it can have long-term consequences. A DUI conviction can remain on the person’s record for years and can make it difficult to find employment, housing, or even a loan. Furthermore, a minor convicted of a DUI may be subject to additional penalties, such as being required to obtain an ignition interlock device on their vehicle or having their license suspended for a longer period of time.
What Are the Penalties for Minors Convicted of DUI in FL?
If convicted of a DUI under 21, you face the following penalties:
- First-time offense: Up to 6 months driver’s license suspension
- Second or subsequent conviction: Up to 1 year driver's license suspension
- BAC was 0.05% or higher: Mandatory DUI evaluation and course
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Community service
Florida DUI Under 21 Process
Underage DUIs do not go through the standard criminal DUI process; instead, they are handled through an administrative process conducted by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If an underage driver is pulled over for drunk driving but refuses a breathalyzer, blood, or another chemical BAC test, he or she is subject to an automatic license seizure and suspension of 12 to 18 months (depending on various factors).
What Is a DUI Hardship License?
In addition to these DUI defense strategies, we can assist underage motorists in applying for hardship licenses. A hardship license allows you to continue driving to/from work when your driver’s license is suspended, as long as you have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle. An IID is a device that requires the driver to measure his/her BAC by way of breath testing before the vehicle can be turned on/operated.
Experienced Defense From Our FL Underage DUI Attorney
In order to legally stop an individual on suspicion of drunk driving, the arresting officer must have probable cause. Additionally, he or she must property conduct field sobriety and/or chemical tests. Failure to do so can result in a case being thrown out.
At First Coast Criminal Defense, our Jacksonville underage DUI attorneys can work to determine if the arresting officer had probable cause to pull you over/stop your child on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs. In some cases, we may also be able to challenge the results of a field sobriety or chemical test.
No matter how grave or serious your situation may be, our Jacksonville underage DUI defense lawyers are prepared to advocate for your rights. We have extensive experience in all aspects of Florida DUI laws and can help you seek the best possible outcome in your case.
Contact First Coast Criminal Defense today for a complimentary case evaluation!