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.