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What If I’m Arrested For DUI In Florida, and I’m Under 21?

a car key is sitting on top of a glass of alcohol

For most drivers, the legal limit for their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent. However, if you are under the age of 21, the legal limit is a BAC of 0.02 percent. That means that if you have just one drink, you are likely going to be considered legally under the influence of alcohol. Florida law states that if you are under 21 years of age and are driving in or have physical control of a motor vehicle, and your BAC is 0.02 percent or higher, you are subject to a breath alcohol or blood alcohol test.

License Suspension

If you’ve been arrested for DUI and are under 21, the police may suspend your license. Refusing to take the breath or blood test may also result in a license suspension. However, if you are otherwise legal to drive, the officer may issue you a 10-day temporary driving permit, along with your notice of suspension.

If you refuse a blood or breath test, and it is your first refusal, your license may be suspended for up to a year. If this is your second refusal, and your license has previously been suspended, your license may be suspended for up to 18 months. The temporary license is not valid until 12 hours after you receive the notice of suspension, which gives you time to hopefully get the alcohol out of your system. If this happens, you will not be able to drive your vehicle home; if you aren’t taken to jail, you will need to have someone pick you up.

If your breath or blood alcohol test indicates a BAC of 0.05 percent or higher, you may be required to take a substance abuse course that is licensed through the Department of Motor Vehicles. And, if you are under 19 years of age, you may have to undergo a substance abuse evaluation, and the state will notify your parents of the results.

If the officer doesn’t issue a suspension when he or she stops you, but it is found that you were under the influence of alcohol while driving, the police may issue a suspension at a later date. You will still receive a 10-day temporary license.

Your Rights

If your license is suspended for DUI and you are under 21 years of age, you have the right to request either a formal or informal review of the suspension by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV). You must request the review within 10 days from the date of the notice of suspension.

If you were accused of being under the influence, but you weren’t, you will have to offer up some proof that you were not drinking. Some prescription or over the counter drugs can cause you to blow positive. Let your attorney know what you were taking, even if it was something that is available over the counter. Once your attorney notifies the DMV that you request an informal or a formal review, it has 30 days to conduct the review. You may receive a temporary license—for business purposes only—while you are waiting for your review date. Your address must be up-to-date, as the DMV will mail you its final decision.

Contact the Khonsari Law Group

If you have been arrested for DUI and you are under the age of 21, call the Khonsari Law Group today at (727) 269-5300, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

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