In Florida, the legal drinking age is 21. Many studies have shown the connection between underage drinking and alcohol-related accidents. The laws governing underage drunk drivers tend to be harsh to help minimize these tragic events.
An individual who has been charged with underage DUI can face severe sanctions, including jail time, probation, fines, hours of community service, and a suspended license. To fight against these sanctions and avoid loss of driving privileges, it is important to contact an experienced Florida DUI attorney.
If you or a loved one has been charged with underage DUI in Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola and the surrounding areas, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC to discuss your alleged underage DUI offense. Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC has represented hundreds of juveniles and adults in DUI cases. His insight into this often complex area of law can help keep your life on track.
Call Clay Adkinson for a free consultation today at if you have been charged with underage DUI in Destin, South Walton, and the surrounding areas. Learn more about the critical next steps in your defense.
According to Fla. Stat. § 322.2616, a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle is being driven by an individual who is under the age of 21 while under the influence of alcohol, may lawfully detain such a person and can request that person to submit to blood-alcohol test.
Anyone under the age of 21 who operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above .02 can be charged with DUI. This is known as the zero tolerance law because drinking one alcoholic beverage is usually enough to put most individuals over the level of .02.
The penalties associated with underage DUI in Florida include up to six months in jail, fines of up to $1,000, vehicle impoundment, probation, community service, or a driver’s license suspension. Other repercussions that are less direct include an increase in insurance premiums, difficulties in finding employment, and the inability to receive future educational grants.
If an underage driver submits to a breath test and blows over a .02 then he will have an administrative license suspension for six months with a thirty-day hard suspension after a first DUI arrest. The hard suspension is the period in which the driver cannot drive for any reason. After thirty days, the driver may be eligible to obtain a hardship license for business or employment purposes.
If the driver who is under 21 years old refuses to submit to a DUI chemical test, breath the administrative suspension will be for one year with a ninety-day hard suspension meaning that the person can’t drive for any reason for 90 days.
Any subsequent suspension will automatically be for 12 months, except that a second or subsequent suspension for refusing to take a chemical test will be for 18 months. For a second driving under the influence suspension the driver will not be eligible for a business or employment purpose driving permit.
The administrative suspension takes effect immediately after the arrest. If eligible, the underage driver will receive a citation that operates as a 10 day driving pattern. If the driver requests a review hearing, his or her attorney can help the underage driver obtain a 42 day permit so that he or she can continue to drive during the time the attorney is fighting the administrative suspension.
If the underage driver has a blood alcohol level of .05 or higher, the suspension will remain in effect until the minor completes DUI school, including a substance abuse evaluation and course.
If you or a family member has been charged with underage DUI in the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Mary Esther, Chipley, Carville, Bonifay, Milton, and Pensacola contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today. The DeFuniak Springs criminal defense attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC have the dedication and skill necessary to help you avoid jail time and a license suspension.
Call Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your drunk driving case, so that you and the attorneys at Adkinson Law Firm, LLC can discuss options that can potentially help you avoid having your life derailed by an underage DUI charge.