If you are under the age of 21, and you are arrested in the Orlando area for a violation of the DUI Statute 316.193, there are additional factors and penalties that may drastically affect your case. The experienced attorneys of Finebloom & Haenel can assist you in protecting your rights!
What if I am a minor (under 18)?
All DUI cases are handled in the criminal traffic system in County Court. You do not appear in juvenile court for a DUI. This means even if you are under 18, a DUI will give you an adult criminal record.
Detaining a person Over 21 vs. Under 21 for DUI Investigation
If you are over the age of 21, there are strict rules about the probable cause an officer must have in order to detain you for a DUI investigation. This rule is known as the rule of “probable cause.” To start a DUI investigation for a person over 21, the officer must believe that the person has been drinking to the point that their faculties are impaired.
Section 322.2616, Florida Statutes, authorizes law enforcement officers having probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle is being driven by or is in the actual physical control of a person who is under the age of 21 while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or who has any alcohol level may lawfully detain this person and may request them to submit to a test to determine the alcohol level. This violation is neither a traffic infraction nor a criminal offense, nor does being detained under this statute constitute an arrest.
This means an officer can have probable cause to detain a person under 21 for a DUI investigation if they think they have had any alcohol whatsoever. It doesn’t matter if the amount that you drank did not cause you to be impaired.
Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under 21 that is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida driver’s license suspended for 6 months. If you are over 21 you must have an alcohol level of .08 to incur the suspension. The .02 limit really means that you cannot have a single drink and drive. Again, it does not matter that you may not be impaired.
- First Suspension for Persons Under the Age of 21 With An Alcohol Level .02 or above is 6 months.
- Second or Subsequent Suspensions 1 year.
- First Suspension for Refusal to Submit to Breath Test: 1 year.
- Second or Subsequent Suspensions for Refusal: 18 months.
The suspension is effective immediately. If the breath or blood alcohol level is .05 or higher the suspension shall remain in effect until completion of a substance abuse evaluation and course.
The 10 day window
Just like a person arrested for DUI who is over the age of 21, the officer will issue the driver who is under 21 a temporary permit effective 12 hours after issuance which is valid for 10 days. Within those 10 days, the driver has the right to challenge the suspension through the hearing officer at the DMV. If they are successful they will be able to continue to drive while the criminal case is pending. If they are unsuccessful, the period for which they must go with out a license or a hardship license is 30 days.
The other DUI penalties are the same for drivers under 21. This means a first offense is punishable by 6 months in the county jail and a fine up to $500. A second offense is punishable by up to 9 months in jail and a fine up to $1000.
If the blow was over a .15 the jail is increased to 9 months for a first offense and one year for a second offense. The fines are increased to $1000 for a first offense and $2000 for a second offense.
How do I protect my rights?
By hiring the experienced and understanding defense team of Finebloom & Haenel. Our attorneys are standing by to discuss your case with you. Florida is very aggressive in its DUI prosecutions. This is especially true in cases where the driver is under 21. Call the attorneys who are just as aggressive in protecting you! We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week by calling 407-238-6138. Call us now and let us help you!