The scenario you had been dreading finally happened. Your 14-year-old son snuck out last night and "borrowed" your husband's BMW. He also helped himself to the 12-pack of beer that was in the refrigerator before picking up his friends to go joy riding.
At 3 a.m. you got the call. Your son had been involved in a car wreck. No one was hurt, but the car was totaled and your son was arrested for driving under the influence.
Florida law has zero tolerance for drivers under 21 that are caught operating a vehicle while intoxicated. However, in order to protect your child's rights, you can still ensure that the case is properly defended. Now is the time to start looking at your options for attorneys that handle juvenile cases.
Read below for FAQs regarding Florida DUI laws and juveniles.
What is the BAC limit for juveniles?
The blood alcohol (BAC) limit for juveniles is .02. If a driver under the age of 21 is stopped and has a BAC over .02, he is facing an automatic six-month driver's license suspension. A .02 limit means that a juvenile cannot have even one drink and still drive.
What if the BAC is over .02?
A BAC over .05 will result in more severe penalties, including the completion of a substance abuse treatment course. In addition to the DUI, you son could also be charged for minor consumption of alcohol or minor in possession.
What if there is another minor in the vehicle?
Since your son had some friends with him, he could also be facing charges for distributing alcohol to other minors. He could be charged with violating child endangerment laws, too.
What are the penalties?
A first DUI in Florida, with a BAC over .08, can result in jail time if the judge deems it appropriate, as well as a $1,000 to $2,000 fine. A second DUI can result in 10 days to 12 months in jail and up to a $4,000 fine depending on the BAC level.
What happens to your insurance?
Depending on your insurance company, you may have your policy immediately terminated or the company might refuse to renew. You may also experience an increase in your premiums that can last three to five years.
DUIs can have serious consequences. Take the time to talk to your children about the dangers of drinking and driving. If your underage child has been charged with a DUI, be sure his rights are protected.