A DUI is a serious criminal charge in Florida. Likewise, the same is also true for underage drinking, with Florida taking a zero-tolerance stance on alcohol-related crimes.
Despite clear attempts to come down hard on underage drinking, it is estimated that 9.5% of all alcohol sold is purchased by underaged individuals.
Because underage drinking is such a common problem, many such individuals find themselves on the receiving end of serious criminal charges. Fortunately, with the help of a Miami DUI Lawyer, it may be possible to either lessen or avoid such charges. While the laws are strict, prosecutors and judges can be reasoned with and more interested in treatment than punishment.
Things get more complicated once you introduce DUI charges into the mix. In these cases, defendants should secure the services of a Miami criminal defense lawyer immediately, in order to stand the best chance of a fair trial and a favorable outcome.
For people 21 years of age or older, a blood alcohol level over .08% means they are legally intoxicated. However, this number is lowered significantly for those under the age of 21.
In other words, if you are under 21 years old, you can drink considerably less and be considered ‘under the influence’. In fact, if your blood alcohol is found to be .02% while driving, this can be enough to result in an arrest for DUI. So, if there is any trace of alcohol in your blood, you are highly likely to be found over the limit in terms of an underage DUI. Whether or not this is fair is not for us to say. But it does mean that if a young person aged 19 or 20 should share a single glass of beer with a friend before driving home, they might be charged with a DUI for underage drinking – which could result in a very serious penalty.
Once again, it becomes highly important to quickly consult with a trained Miami DUI Lawyer.
The penalties for being convicted of a DUI before 21 can be quite severe. In the short term, a driver will have their license suspended for a minimum of 6 months if this is a first offense. For a second offense, the license will be suspended for one year. If the blood alcohol is above 0.05%, then the license will be revoked indefinitely until the individual passes a course for substance abuse and has passed to satisfactory standards.
Other factors that may complicate matters include the refusal to take a blood test. If this should happen, an automatic suspension of one year will follow. If they have refused previously, then the suspension will be for 18 months.
Those under the age of 18 will be processed as juvenile offenders. That means they could be subjected to substance abuse treatment in the local area.
There are also long-term consequences in all these cases. DUI convictions will almost always result in increased insurance premiums. This can essentially make driving unaffordable, even once the driving license is reinstated.
Further down the line, underage DUI defendants might find their future being impacted by their conviction record. This can make it difficult to find work in future, and it makes it especially important that defendants get legal representation from a criminal attorney in Miami.
If you have been charged with a DUI and especially if you are underage, then you should get in touch with a Miami DUI Lawyer immediately. At Pagan & Stroleny, P.L., we will be happy to offer a free consultation with no strings attached to help you make the best decision for your future.
We handle a variety of criminal law cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami DUI Lawyer.