Florida DUI Under 21
Because underage drinking results in many traffic fatalities each year, Florida law is intentionally strict regarding the reduced blood alcohol content, or BAC, limit for minors. The legal limit for adults age 21 and older is 0.08%. For minor under the age of 21 is substantially lower at only 0.02%. Just one beer or glass of wine may be enough to elevate your BAC to 0.02%.
However, if you are under the age of 21 and are found to have a BAC at or above the adult legal limit of 0.08%, you may be charged with a standard DUI. If convicted of this more serious charge, you may face up to six months in jail probation, vehicle impoundment, probation, the suspension of your drivers license and up to $1,000 in fines.
Administrative License Suspension
After you are arrested for an underage DUI, you only have a 10-day window to appeal the automatic six-month administrative suspension of your license by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. If you are facing a second or subsequent underage DUI, you may be facing a suspension of 12 months.
At the time of your arrest, the police officer will take your license and replace it with a temporary permit that will be valid for 10 days. This permit contains information about requesting an administrative license suspension hearing, which you can file through your defense attorney.
Additional Underage DUI Penalties
Although not as extensive as the penalties for a standard DUI, the penalties for an underage DUI are still very serious. A first-offense underage DUI will result in a six- month license suspension, which could be extended if your BAC was over 0.05%. A second offense underage DUI is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and $4,000 in fines, depending on your BAC. You will also lose your license for 12 months. Even one underage DUI on your record will cause your car insurance rates to skyrocket—if you are able to keep your insurance at all. Many companies choose not to renew policies of known DUI offenders; others may cancel the policy immediately.