Juvenile DUI / Under Age 21
We have all read the headlines about a serious car accident involving a driver under the age of 21 who was under the influence of alcohol. In response to these tragic cases, the state of Florida has adopted "zero tolerance" policies for juveniles or young people under the age of 21 who drink and drive.
Contact the experienced Tampa DUI Attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss any DUI case involving a juvenile or driver under the age of 21 in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. Our attorneys are available to speak with you about your case 24/7. Call 813-250-0500 today.
How We Can Help - Defending the Underaged Driver Suspended of DUI
Ms. Sammis is an DUI attorney with more than 10 years of criminal defense experience. As a former public defender in Florida, Ms. Sammis was assigned to misdemeanor, felony and juvenile court where she defended juvenile and underaged drivers charged with DUI and other serious driving and traffic offenses. Since entering private practice eight years ago and then starting her own criminal defense practice, Ms. Sammis is particularly qualified to represent young people charged with DUI in Tampa FL.
Part of growing up involves taking chances, but when young people are caught consuming drugs or alcohol and then driving the consequences can be life changing. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney as early in the process as possible can often lead to the best results.
"Zero tolerance" - The .02 Legal Limit
Under Florida law it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to consume an alcoholic beverage. Of course, it is also illegal for an underaged driver to drink and then drive. Under Florida law, the legal limit for any driver under the age of 21 is a BAC (blood or breath alcohol content level) of .02. Commonly referred to a "zero-tolerance" policy for Juvenile DUI crimes, a DUI conviction in Hillsborough County, FL, can result in a driver's license suspension, incarceration, probation, fines, court costs, community service, and a criminal record.
Other than the serious direct consequences of a DUI, the juvenile or driver under 21 may also suffer indirect consequences that can drastically increased insurance premiums and a criminal record that will affect a young person's educational and employment opportunities. Contact the Sammis Law Firm to talk directly with a Tampa DUI Lawyer about defending yourself against an allegation of under age 21 DUI.
Administrative Suspension for a DUI Driver Under the Age of 21
Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 322.2616, a law enforcement officer may request any person under the age of 21 to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine if the officer has probable cause to believe that the under aged driver is impaired or has a blood alcohol content of a .02. If the driver is accused of refusing the chemical test or if the breath test reading show a result of .02 or above, and administrative suspension will occur. The only way to avoid the "immediate" suspension is to demand an administrative hearing with the DMV within 10 days of the arrest.
Unless the young person wins the administrative hearing the suspension period for an individual under the age of 21 with an alcohol level of .02 is as follows:
- First Suspension: Six (6) months; or
- Second or subsequent suspension: Twelve (12) months.
The administrative suspension period for an individual under the age of 21 who refuses to submit to a chemical test is as follows:
- First Suspension: Twelve (12) months;
- Second or Subsequent Suspension: Eighteen (18) months.
For a DUI cases involving a driver under the age of 21, if the blood or breath alcohol content level is a .05 or above the driver's license suspension will stay in place until the driver successfully completes an substance abuse evaluation and treatment course. The arresting officer will issue the person under 21 a temporary driving permit (assuming he is otherwise eligible) which is valid for only 10 days after the arrest.
During those ten (10) days, the juvenile or driver under 21 should file for a formal review hearing to attack the administrative suspension of the driver's license. At the hearing the Tampa DUI Juvenile Attorney can subpoena and cross-examine witnesses and explore possible defenses that can be used to fight the charges in the criminal case.
Contact an experienced Juvenile Defense Attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss ways to protect yourself against this serious accusation today. Call 813-250-0500 to speak with one of our experienced and aggressive DUI defense lawyers.
Program for Juvenile DUI Enforcement Program - provides a series of articles, recent statistics, and police enforcement techniques for combating juvenile drunk driving, and drug impaired driving.
Read the Florida Statute concerning DUI for a juvenile driver or a driver under the age of 21 - Florida Statute Section 322.2616: Driver's License Suspension for Person Under 21 Years of Age
YouTube video from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office called "Future Focus" which addresses the issues of underaged drinking and DUI arrests involving juveniles, minors and young people under the age of 21: