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Underage DUI refers to an accusation of driving under the influence or drunk driving made against a person who is under the legal drinking age of 21. Florida law provides for certain enhanced administrative penalties and punishments when the driver is under the age of 21 years old. A high school or college student who is charged with DUI may also face a disciplinary hearing at their high school or college.
Dean Galigani is an experienced drunk driving defense attorney who represents young people charged with DUI throughout Gainesville, Lake City, Ocala, Alachua, Newberry, Trenton and the surrounding areas of central Florida. Call our office today to find out what you need to do right now to protect yourself after an accusation of DUI, drunk or impaired driving by a young person who is under the age of 21.
Florida Statute Section 322.2616, allows a police officer or other law enforcement officer to request the driver submit to a chemical test if the officer has probable cause to believe that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or that the driver has an alcohol level of .02 or above. While the legal limit for adults is .08, Florida law has created a zero tolerance policy for underage drivers that applied to any administrative suspension of the driver's license.
In the criminal case, the penalties and punishments are essentially the same regardless of whether the person accused is over 21 years of age or under 21 years of age.
If the driver who is under the age of 21 submits to a breath test and blows over a .02 then the administrative suspension will be for six months with a thirty (30) day hard suspension after a first DUI arrest. The hard suspension is the period in which the driver cannot drive for any reason. Thereafter, the driver may be eligible to obtain a hardship license for "business purposes only" or for "employment purposes only."
If the driver who is under 21 years old refuses to submit to a breath, blood or urine test then the administrative suspension will be for one year with a ninety (90) day hard suspension meaning that the person can not drive for any reason for 90 days.
Any second of subsequent suspension will result in a one-year suspension, except that a second or subsequent suspension for refusing to take the chemical test will result in an 18-month suspension. For a second driving under the influence suspension the driver will not be eligible for a "business purpose only" or an "employment purpose only" driving permit.
The administrative suspension takes effect immediately after the arrest. If eligible, the juvenile or underage driver will receive a citation that operates as a 10-day driving pattern. If the driver requests an informal or formal review hearing then the attorney can help the underage driver obtain a 42-day permit so that he or she can continue to drive during the time the attorney is fighting the administrative suspension.
If the underage driver has a breath or blood alcohol level of .05 or higher then the suspension will remain in effect until the underage person completes DUI school, including a substance abuse evaluation and course.
Dean Galigani is a DUI attorney in Alachua, Gainesville, FL, who focuses on drunk driving defense. Special considerations and defense apply when the person accused of drunk driving is under the age of 21, especially if the person arrested is a high school or college student could be subjected to a disciplinary hearing.
Call (352) 375-0812 or send an online message to speak with an attorney at the Galigani Law Firm about your underage driving under the influence charge in Gainesville, Alachua County, FL or the surrounding areas. This includes Columbia County for Lake City, Baker County for Macclenny, Bradford County in Starke, Union County in Titusville, Marion County in Ocala, Levy County in Bronson and Gilchrist County in Trenton, Florida.
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"Dean Galigani was supportive when my son was arrested for underage possession of alcohol..." - David