DUI Charges For Drivers Under 21 In Fort Walton Beach
DUI charges are serious enough for adults, but the Florida legislature has enacted a zero-tolerance, strict liability standard when it comes to underage drinking and driving. The main reason for this is that alcohol-related traffic crashes are a leading cause of teenage death.
If your son or daughter is under the age of 21 and has been charged with DUI, it is important to take steps now to protect them. I’m a parent of two teenagers myself, so I understand the pressures local teens face and that young people don’t always think about the long-term consequences of their actions. I also completely understand how angry you might be at your son or daughter for the decisions they made.
My philosophy in juvenile defense cases is very simple: I want my juvenile clients to learn a lesson from what they did, but I do not believe that a mistake someone makes as a juvenile should affect the rest of their life.
Will my child’s case be heard in Juvenile Court or Adult Court?
If they are younger than 18, they will be required to appear in Juvenile Court. If they are 18 or older, they will be required to appear in Adult Court and will face adult sanctions.
A Blood Alcohol Content of 0.02 is the Legal Limit for Drivers under 21
As most people know, the legal limit for drinking and driving in the State of Florida is a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08. For drivers under the age of 21, the legal limit is a BAC of 0.02.
What are the penalties for an Under 21 DUI?
- Driver Under 21 with BAC of 0.02 and up: if this is your son or daughter’s first DUI offense, their driver’s license may be suspended for 6 months. For a second offense, the suspension will be for a year.
- Driver Under 21 with breath test refusal: for a first refusal, the driver’s license suspension is 12 months. For a second or subsequent refusal, the period of suspension is 18 months.
- If your son or daughter had a BAC of 0.08 or above, they will face the exact same sanctions that an adult would face for a DUI, including possible jail time.
Call a Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Walton Beach Who Can Help
I have been practicing exclusively criminal defense in Fort Walton Beach and throughout Okaloosa County since 2001. I am also the parent of two teenagers, so I understand the stress your family is going through. I can’t promise what the end result will be in your child’s case, but I do promise that I will treat your child the way I would want my children to be treated. At the same time, I will bring my advocacy, dedication, and experience to the table in defending your son or daughter.
If your child has been charged with Under 21 DUI in Fort Walton Beach, call me 24/7 at (850) 243-6097 and get the answers you’re looking for.