The legal drinking age in the state of Florida is 21, so anyone under 21 may face charges of being a minor in possession of alcohol. In addition, if they are charged with driving under the influence, they may face serious consequences and additional charges. While blood alcohol levels are set at .08 for most drivers to have their license suspended by FLDHSMV, the level set for drivers under the age of 21 is .02.
Blood alcohol levels
A DUI conviction for those under age 21, or at any age, will result in license suspension. Additionally, if a driver under 21 has a blood alcohol level higher than .02 their license will be suspended for six months. Unfortunately, if a driver under 21 has a blood alcohol level that exceeds .08 they may also be facing jail time, steep fines and suspension of their license until they reach the age of 21.
When a driver under the age of 21 is convicted of more than one DUI they will face a minimum 12 month suspension of driving privileges. They may also face jail time of up to 12 months and fines of up to $4,000.
Possible additional charges
If a teen driver is stopped and is suspected of being under the influence, they may face other charges in addition to DUI.
- Distribution charges: If there were other minors in the vehicle who also consumed alcohol the driver may be charged with distributing alcohol to a minor
- Possession charges: The driver who is facing a DUI arrest may be charged with underage possession of alcohol
- Child Endangerment: Drivers under 21 who have a blood alcohol level over .02 may face child endangerment violations.
Driving after drinking is never a good idea and the penalties for a first time conviction are serious regardless of your age. However, drivers under the age of 21 may face more harsh penalties and may also find it difficult or impossible to maintain insurance since many insurers will cancel policies or refuse to renew polices for those under 21 who are convicted.
Contact Our Firm Today!
When someone under 21 is charged with a DUI it is imperative that a Miami DUI attorney is contacted immediately. Not only is this driver looking at potential long-term loss of driving rights but they may be facing other charges that will require the expertise of an attorney who understands Florida's DUI laws. For over 30 years and over 3,000 DUI and DUI-related cases, I have been defending otherwise good people charged with DUI and other serious offenses.