For many Florida students, heading to college or university is the first step into adulthood. Many students will have their first taste of true freedom and adulthood responsibilities in the first few years of their higher education. However, while college students are adults, there are some things they cannot legally do until they turn 21. This includes the purchase and consumption of alcohol.
Drinking and driving is always a crime, regardless of your age. However, underage drinking is also a crime under state law, regardless of whether the student is living independently as an adult or not. For many college students, alcohol is a small part of the college experience, yet a one-time mistake can still lead to serious legal repercussions. For students under the age of 21, fighting a DUI is an important step to protecting future interests.
The impact of underage drinking in Florida
There are personal, administrative and legal repercussions for a conviction of underage drinking and driving. If a college student has any alcohol in his or her system at or over the amount of .02 percent, he or she can face serious penalties. State laws have zero tolerance for underage drivers found with any discernible blood alcohol content. Penalties include:
- License suspension for a period of at least six months for the first offense
- License suspension for a period of one year for a second offense
- License suspension for a period of one year for refusing to cooperate with law enforcement requests to submit to BAC testing
- License suspension of 18 months for second refusal to comply with law enforcement
The loss of your driving privileges is more than just an inconvenience. It is a direct threat to your future, your opportunities and your personal freedoms. If you cannot drive, you cannot get to class, work and other places you need to go.
A conviction for underage drinking and driving is more than just a legal issue. It can also impact other areas of your life, including your scholarships, extracurricular opportunities and much more.
The importance of your defense
Your defense for underage drinking and driving is important. A lot of things are on the line, but you do not have to fight these charges on your own. With help, you can confront these charges and pursue your future hopes and dreams.
After an arrest for any type of DUI or alcohol-related criminal offense, you will find it beneficial to start by seeking a complete evaluation of your case. This can help you understand your legal options and how you can fight back.