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Underage DUI Defense Lawyer in Miami
Representing Minors in Fort Lauderdale
No person is allowed to operate a motor vehicle within Florida while he or she is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, and individuals under 21 years of age are prohibited from possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages. Florida considers itself a “zero tolerance” state when it comes to DUI offenses, and minors can be arrested for DUI even when they have a blood alcohol concentration below the legal limit for adults.
Any arrest has the potential to dramatically impact the life of a minor, but underage DUI offenses can often cause several additional complications. Minors can face traditional DUI charges and stiffer penalties in adult criminal court when they are accused of having a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
If you or your child was arrested anywhere in Broward County for an alleged underage DUI offense, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation right away. Turn to the Miami underage DUI defense attorney at The Hoffman Firm.
What Is the "Zero Tolerance" Policy?
Law enforcement officials patrol Florida roadways seeking out underage drinkers that get behind the wheel 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 driving a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 or above will automatically have their license suspended for a six months.
However, if the person under the age of 21 initially refused to comply with chemical testing to determine their BAC or if they have a prior DUI conviction, their license will automatically be suspended for a one year.
Administrative Suspension for Drivers under 21
Persons under the age of 21 can lawfully be detained by law enforcement and subjected to chemical testing 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
- The law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe the driver consumed alcohol
Driving while intoxicated is treated as a serious criminal offense in Florida. As such, a DUI conviction can impose severe consequences for a person under the age of 21.
Some of the penalties for an underage DUI at a BAC of 0.08 or above include:
- Up to six months in jail
- Up to a $1,000 fine
- Ignition interlock installed for a minimum of six months
- Mandatory completion of 50 hours of community service
- Vehicle impounded
- Probation up to one year
As with most crimes in Florida, the circumstances of 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 include:
- 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
- DUI resulting in the death of another
Reach Out to The Hoffman Firm
Were you or your child recently arrested for an underage DUI offense? You should avoid making any kind of statement to authorities without legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm can fight to help you achieve the most favorable possible outcome.
Client-Focused RepresentationOur Firm is dedicated to client satisfaction. We are available 24/7 to help those in need.
Decades of ExperienceAttorney Evan Hoffman has over two decades of experience fighting for the accused.
Premier Criminal Defense FirmExperienced Attorney Evan Hoffman has handled some of the most high profile and complex cases.
Proven Track RecordClient satisfaction is our top priority. At The Hoffman Firm we take great pride in our success and case victories.
Florida Former State ProsecutorAttorney Evan Hoffman has extensive knowledge of the strategies used by prosecutors throughout Florida.
Free Initial ConsultationWe offer free initial consultations to ensure that we have your best interests in mind.