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Underage DUI

The State of Florida has zero tolerance for drivers under the age of 21 consuming alcohol and driving. Being charged with a DUI offense can drastically change the remainder of a person's life, even if they have not yet reached adulthood.  The penalties for underage DUI include imprisonment, driver's license revocation, and costly fines.

Underage DUI Attorney in Miami, Florida

If you or someone you know is under the age of 21 and has been charged with DUI, they need the counsel of an experienced DUI defense attorney to help preserve their future.

Attorney Evan Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney with offices conveniently located in Miami and North Miami, Florida. The Hoffman Firm serves clients faced with DUI offenses throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida, including but not limited to Aventura, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Doral, and Homestead.

When dealing with criminal charges, experience matters. Contact The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form to have your case reviewed by an experienced criminal defense DUI attorney.


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Underage DUI in Miami-Dade County, Florida

Under Florida Statute 316.193, a person can be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DUI) when they were driving or in physical control of a vehicle while their normal faculties have been impaired due to the consumption of alcohol or a controlled substance, including prescribed medication.

In order to be convicted of a DUI offense, the prosecution must prove the following:

  • The Defendant was driving or in physical control of the vehicle,
  • The Defendant's normal faculties were impaired, and
  • The Defendant's impairment was caused by consuming a controlled substance, or
  • The Defendant's impairment was caused by BAC of 0.02 or above.

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What is "Zero Tolerance" in Miami, Florida?

Law enforcement patrols Florida roadways seeking out underage drinkers that get behind the wheel of automobiles and watercraft after consuming alcohol. To strengthen law enforcement's effort to persecute underage drinkers, the "Zero Tolerance" policy was established. 

Under the Zero Tolerance law, any person under the age of 21 that is determined to have a BAC of 0.02 or above while they were operating or in control of a vehicle, will automatically have their license suspended for a period of six (6) months.

However, if the person under the age of 21 initially refused to comply with chemical testing to determine their BAC or has a prior DUI conviction, his or her license will automatically be suspended for a period of one (1) year.


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Refusal by Person under the Age of 21

When a person under the age of 21 refuses to submit to a chemical test that will determine their BAC, they will immediately have their license suspended for a period of six (6) months if their BAC is proven to be 0.02 or above.

When a person under the age of 21 has previously refused chemical testing to determine their BAC and their BAC was subsequently determined to have been 0.02 or above, they will have their license automatically suspended for a period of twelve (12) months.


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Administrative Suspension - Person under 21

Persons under the age of 21 can lawfully be detained by law enforcement and subjected to chemical testing in order to determine their blood alcohol concentration under certain circumstances.

Florida Statute 322.2616 permits law enforcement to detain a person under the age of 21 and request them to submit to testing to determine their BAC if the following requirements are met:

  • The Driver is under the age of 21,
  • The Driver was driving or in physical control of the vehicle, and
  • The law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe the driver consumed alcohol

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Administrative Suspension – BAC 0.02 or above:

    • License immediately suspended for six (6) months,
    • Previous DUI Conviction, Driver's License suspended for twelve (12) months,
    • Refused to submit to chemical testing, suspension for twelve (12) months,
    • Previous DUI Conviction, Driver's License suspended for twelve (12) months, or
    • Second or Subsequent Refusal to submit to Chemical testing, License suspended eighteen (18) months.

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Driving while License Suspended in Miami, Florida

In Florida, driver's license suspension is a common result of a DUI offense. Being left unable to drive can cause a significant amount of inconvenience and limit a person's ability to work and attend school.

However, driver's license suspensions are strictly enforced and driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense that could result in additional penalties including:

  • Driving while Driver's License Suspended – First Offense
      • Second Degree Misdemeanor,
      • Up to $500 Fine, and
      • Up to sixty (60) days in Jail
  • Driving while Driver's License Suspended – Second Offense
      • First Degree Misdemeanor,
      • Up to $1,000 Fine, and
      • Up to twelve (12) months in Jail
  • Driving while Driver's License Suspended – Third Offense
      • Third Degree Felony,
      • Up to $5,000 Fine, and
      • Up to five (5) years Imprisonment

If you have been caught driving with a suspended license, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney with the ability to defend your rights. Contact The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation with our talented DUI defense attorney.


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Underage Drinking and Driving - BAC between 0.02 and 0.08%

When a driver under the age of 21 is determined to have a BAC between 0.02 and 0.08% when they were driving or operating a vehicle, they will not be charged with a DUI offense. However, the underage driver will still have their driver's license automatically suspended by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).


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Underage Drinking and Driving – BAC 0.08% or Higher

When a driver under the age of 21 is determined to have a BAC above 0.08% (the legal limit for all drivers) when they were driving or operating a vehicle, they will be criminally charged with a DUI offense and face the same penalties as a person who is over the age of 21.

However, certain collateral consequences may exist, such as college admission, college loans and grants, and possibly their ability to find employment.


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Underage DUI Penalties in Miami, Florida

Driving while intoxicated is treated as a serious criminal offense in Florida. As such, a DUI conviction can impose rather severe consequences for a person under the age of 21. Some of the penalties for an underage DUI in Miami-Dade County, Florida include:

DUI with BAC of 0.08 or Above

  • Up to six (6) months in Jail,
  • Up to a $1,000 fine,
  • Ignition Interlock installed for a minimum of six (6) months,
  • Mandatory completion of 50 hours of community service,
  • Vehicle impounded, and
  • Probation up to one (1) year

As with most crimes in Florida, the circumstances giving rise to a person's arrest can substantially affect the crime they are charged with, whether the offense is a misdemeanor or felony offense, and the penalties the person could face.

Factors that Enhance an Underage DUI offense are as follows:

  • Property Damage,
  • Breath or Blood test registered BAC at 0.15 or above,
  • DUI with a Minor in the Vehicle,
  • DUI involving Personal Injury,
  • DUI involving Serious Bodily Injury to Another, and
  • DUI resulting in the Death of Another

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Florida Resources for Underage DUI:

Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee – Visit this website for more information about the Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking collaborative efforts with the federal government, local governments, and organizations to develop tactics and programs that effectively prevent underage drinking within the United States.

Office of Adolescent Health – Visit this website for more information regarding the OAH's efforts to improve the health habits and well-being of today's youth to enable them to become productive members of our society.


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Experienced Underage DUI Attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida

The State of Florida takes intoxicated driving very seriously and will do whatever they can to convict a person charged with a DUI offense, even if that person hasn’t yet reached the age of 21. Do not take an underage DUI offense lightly. A DUI offense can tarnish a person's reputation and negatively affect the remainder of their life.

Attorney Evan Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney with offices conveniently located in Miami and North Miami, Florida. The Hoffman Firm serves clients faced with DUI offenses throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida, including but not limited to Aventura, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Doral, and Homestead.

Attorney Hoffman is a former criminal prosecutor and has extensive experience representing clients charged with underage DUI, first DUI, DUI with bodily injury, intoxicated manslaughter, and DUI with property damage.

When dealing with criminal charges, experience matters. Contact The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form to have your case reviewed by an experienced criminal defense DUI attorney.


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Free Consultation

All fields are required. The use of this form for communication with our personnel does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Evan A. Hoffman

Evan A. Hoffman

Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.

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If you received any kind of traffic violation in the Miami area call The Hoffman Firm today.

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