Underage drinking has been a prevalent problem for years, which has led
to many injuries and even deaths. In 2011, there were 33,621 DUI convictions
in the state alone. This is why Florida and other states have been cracking
down on the crime and imposing severe penalties upon anyone convicted
of an underage Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge.
Florida has what is called a
Zero Tolerance law for people driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02% or higher.
This means if you are pulled over and given a blood or breath test that
results in a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or higher, your license will
be administratively suspended for 6 months on the first offense, and for
one year for each additional offense while under the age of 21. These
penalties have nothing to do with whether you are charged, much less convicted
of, Driving Under the Influence. In other words, these administrative
penalties will stand regardless of any criminal DUI offense, as merely
having more than 0.02% of a blood alcohol content in and of itself will
result administratively these penalties.
As for an actual criminal Driving Under the Influence conviction, regardless
of your age, a first offense, basic DUI with no enhancements can result
in a sentence of up to six months in jail or 12 months of probation, a
fine of up to $1,000.00, at least 50 hours of community service, first
offender DUI school attendance, a victim impact panel class, as well as
a 10-day vehicle impound. If your first offense DUI occurred with a blood
alcohol content of 0.15% or higher, then certain enhancements will occur,
such as fines up to $2,000.00 for a first offense, jail of up to 9 months
or 12 months of probation, and an ignition interlock device for at least
six months, in addition to all other basic DUI penalties.
Individuals involved with DUI cases often have ties to similar alcohol
offenses, such as distributing alcohol to minors, minor in possession,
soliciting alcohol, child endangerment, possession of false identification,
and moving and vehicle maintenance violations.
Likewise, a DUI conviction may result in your insurance company cancelling
your insurance policy, or greatly increasing your insurance rates. You
may even need to pursue SR-22 high risk insurance.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, regardless of your age, make sure
you hire an experienced Panama City Criminal Defense Attorney Al Sauline
today. Contact us 24/7 at (850) 215-0628 or fill out our online form to
schedule a case consultation today.