Charged With Underage DUI? Choose the Powerful Defense of Dunham & Ingram

Underage DUI in Ocala, Florida

What Is the Legal BAC for Someone Under 21?

Although the legal BAC limit for a driver 21 years or older is .08%, an underage driver will face DUI charges if their BAC is .02% or higher. In the state of Florida, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to consume alcohol and, likewise, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Florida follows a Zero Tolerance policy in regards to underage drunk driving and, as a result, imposes strict consequences for any violations of this law. These harsh penalties also carry severe long term consequences if convicted of an underage DUI.

If you are charged with under-21 DUI, it is important that you do not wait to enlist the skilled representation of a Marion County criminal defense lawyer for your case. Contact us for your case evaluation.

What Are the Penalties for Under-21 DUIs in Florida?

Because the state of Florida follows the Zero Tolerance policy, under age drinking carries harsh penalties. Zero Tolerance is used in an effort to reduce underage drunk driving, which is why the violators are given harsh penalties. The extent and severity of the penalties are based on the circumstances of the alleged incident.

If you are convicted of under 21 DUI, your sentencing could include the following penalties:

  • Under 21 Driver with BAC of .02% or above: If a first offense, the driver's license will be suspended for 6 months. If the driver has previously been convicted of DUI, their license will be suspended for 1 year.
  • Under 21 Driver who refuses breath or blood test: For refusal to submit to a chemical BAC test the driver's license will be suspended for 1 year. If a second or subsequent refusal, the driver will lose their license for 18 months.
  • Under 21 Driver with BAC of .08% or above: If an underage driver is convicted of DUI with a BAC of .08% or above they face the same penalties as a driver aged 21 or older. The penalties for a first DUI offense in Florida include fines of $500 to $1,000, driver's license suspension of 180 days to 1 year, your vehicle will be impounded, incarceration in county jail up to 6 months, and 50 hours of community service.

What Happens if You Get a DUI Under 18?

Minors (17 years of age or younger) with a BAC of .02% or more may be charged with DUI and face a 6-month license suspension for a first offense as well as mandatory evaluation at an addictions facility or completion of an alcohol education program.

What Happens if I Drive with a Suspended License?

License suspension is a common consequence of DUI in Florida, and this penalty can cause a great deal of inconvenience and limit personal freedoms. It is important to understand, however, that license suspension is strictly enforced, and if you violate your suspension you could face even more severe penalties.

If you are caught driving with a suspended license, you will be charged with a criminal offense and your penalties could include the following:

Driving with a Suspended License – First Offense

  • Second Degree Misdemeanor
  • Fine up to $500
  • Jail sentence up to 60 days

Driving with a Suspended License – Second Offense

  • First Degree Misdemeanor
  • Fine up to $1,000
  • Jail sentence up to 1 year

Driving with a Suspended License – Third Offense

  • Third Degree Felony
  • Fine up to $5,000
  • Jail sentence up to 5 years

The consequences of violating a license suspension are very severe. If you are charged with this offense, do not hesitate to obtain the aggressive representation of a knowledgeable defense attorney from our firm as soon as possible.

The Impact of an Underage DUI Conviction

Beyond license suspension and such consequences as alcohol education or community service, being convicted of underage drunk driving could have serious and widespread implications for your life and future.

A juvenile criminal record can affect your opportunities in a number of ways, and the mark from an under 21 DUI could impact your ability to:

  • Gain acceptance into certain colleges and universities
  • Obtain scholarships
  • Enter the military
  • And gain certain professional licenses or a license to carry a firearm

You may be able to avoid the harsh effects of a juvenile conviction by having your record expunged, which erases criminal offenses from the record of a qualifying individual. If you would like to learn more about expungement to remove any juvenile charges from your criminal record, contact our team today to discuss your options.

Charged with Under-21 DUI in Ocala?

If you are charged with drinking and driving as a minor or while under the age of 21, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced Ocala defense attorney as soon as possible. At Dunham & Ingram, we are dedicated to providing the people of Marion County with aggressive and effective criminal defense counsel, and we can help you fight intoxicated driving charges.

We understand the negative implications conviction for underage DUI could have upon your life, and our team can help by building a comprehensive defense that protects your rights and advocates for your best interests.

To enlist our powerful legal counsel for your case, contact a DUI lawyer from our office today and fill out a case evaluation form to learn about your defense options!

Benefits of Choosing Dunham & Ingram LLC:

  • Experienced

    We have experience handling all types of misdemeanor and felony cases.

  • Committed

    We are committed to tirelessly protecting your rights and interests.

  • Aggressive

    We have extensive courtroom experience and know how to fight for you in trial.

  • Helpful

    We will answer any questions and make sure you understand your rights and options.