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  • "Don Pumphrey is amazing and gets the job done right!! I would highly recommend him to anyone. " by Amanda, Past Client
  • "Mr. Pumphrey and his staff are true experts at interpretation of the law and worked hard to protect my rights." by Anonymous (Google Review 3), Past Client
  • " I would highly recommend this firm if you want diligent, brilliant attorneys working for you. The proof is in his results!" by Anonymous (Google Review), Past Client
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  • "Best criminal attorney in Florida" by Elizabeth R., Past Client
  • "Mr. Pumphrey took one look at my case and had all of the charges dismissed" by Evie, Past Client
  • "When the quality of rest of your life is at stake go with Don trust me he has literally saved my life more then once" by J. Smith, Past Client
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  • "I was referred to Mr. Pumphrey’s law firm through a mutual friend who spoke highly of him. At no surprise, he came through for me in a huge way. He was effective and efficient. If you are in need of a top notch lawyer that gets the job done, Don Pumphrey is who you need!" by Jonathan C., Past Client
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  • "The best in the Southeast!" by Mike T., Past Client
  • "One of the finest criminal attorney's in the big bend area" by Terry B., Past Client

Florida's Zero Tolerance DUI for Drivers Under Age 21

DUI attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: receiving a phone call from a police station informing them that their child has been arrested for an underage DUI offense. Florida takes a firm stance against drinking and driving, especially for those who are under the legal drinking age of 21. To deter reckless behavior and safeguard the lives of young individuals, a DUI charge for an underage minor comes with specific challenges and penalties.

Getting convicted of a juvenile DUI offense can result in harsh consequences such as paying expensive fines, getting your license suspended, completing community service, and the possibility of a juvenile detention sentence. Whether you are a minor who has been arrested or the parent of a minor who is currently facing a juvenile DUI, it is imperative that you understand the charges against you and how to fight them.

An experienced Florida defense attorney can help you fight the charges of a juvenile DUI. At Pumphrey Law, our attorneys will offer guidance and non-stop support during this trying time. Our goal is to clear the juvenile’s name and protect their future.

Attorney for Juvenile or Under 21 DUI

Underage drivers who are arrested for DUI of drugs or alcohol can face steep penalties. It is important you act fast after an arrest to start building a defense.

Call (850) 681-7777 to discuss a “zero tolerance” case with an experienced Tallahassee defense attorney. The DUI defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law have years of experience representing juvenile offenders who are facing DUI charges. They will work to help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

The Tallahassee DUI defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law Firm fight to protect young people charged with any under aged drinking offense in Tallahassee and the nearby areas throughout Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit, including Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Quincy in Gadsden County, Bristol in Liberty County and Monticello in Jefferson County.

Drinking and Driving Laws for People Under 21

Under Florida Statute Section 316.193, it is illegal for any person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the point where their normal faculties are impaired. Actual physical control implies that although the defendant was not operating the vehicle when they were arrested for an alleged DUI, they had the immediate capability to do so. Law enforcement will consider things like where the defendant was located or the location of the vehicle’s keys to establish actual physical control.

In a standard DUI case, a person 21 or older who has a blood-alcohol or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is considered impaired. However, the rules are different for DUI cases involving juveniles or those under 21.

Under Florida Statutes Section 322.2616, if prosecutors can prove an underage person was driving or was in actual physical control of a vehicle with a blood-alcohol or breath-alcohol level of 0.02 or more, he or she may be convicted of a juvenile DUI.

Florida has a “zero tolerance” policy toward juvenile DUI. Blowing over the legal limit could have serious repercussions. The results of the chemical test can depend on a variety of factors, including a person’s weight, height, and body. This means getting behind the wheel even after one drink could change your life and impact your future.

Penalties for Underage DUI in Florida

The penalties for an under 21 DUI will depend on the circumstances of your arrest. A person under 21 who is arrested for a DUI with a BAC of 0.02 or above could face:

  • Up to six months of driver’s license suspension (first DUI offense)
  • Up to one year of driver’s license suspension (second DUI offense)

A person under 21 who is arrested for a DUI with a BAC of 0.08 or above could face:

  • Fines between $500 and $1,000
  • Driver’s license suspension between 180 days to one year;
  • Mandatory 50 hours of community service
  • Drug and alcohol counseling
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Up to six months of incarceration

Drivers have a right to contest the license suspension by requesting a formal review hearing. However, they are only given 10 days to request the hearing. The Tallahassee juvenile lawyers at Pumphrey Law can help underage drivers through this lengthy process.

Failure to Submit Test

If a driver younger than 21 refuses to submit to a chemical test, his or her license automatically will be suspended for one year for the first DUI offense and 18 months for a second offense.

If the juvenile defendant submits to taking the test and fails, however, his or her license will be suspended for six months for a first offense and one year for a second offense.

Penalties for Underage Alcohol Possession

A related charge that the juvenile may face is underage possession of alcohol. Florida Statute Section 562.111 explains that it is unlawful for any person under the legal drinking age of 21 to possess any alcoholic beverage. The only exception is for an underage person 18 or older who is employed to sell, prepare, or distribute alcohol.

A minor who is caught in the unlawful possession of alcohol can face a second-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor include up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in juvenile detention center.

A minor who was previously convicted of possession of alcohol and is caught for a second or subsequent time in the unlawful possession of alcohol can face a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

Indirect Under 21 DUI Consequences

Besides the possible punishments and penalties that can be imposed by the court, a young person can also face a myriad of indirect consequences if they are convicted of a juvenile DUI. These consequences can have a long-term impact on the driver. Some possible consequences include:

  • Disciplinary actions from their school or university, including expulsion, especially if the young person has prior disciplinary action or the drunk driving offense occurred on campus;
  • A dramatic increase in insurance premiums that can last for more than three years;
  • Prevent the individual from gaining acceptance into school or university, or their eligibility of being awarded scholarships;
  • A permanent mark on the minor or under 21’s criminal record which can never be sealed or expunged. This can create problems when applying for jobs, housing and governmental assistance, including financial aid.

To discuss all possible repercussions from a juvenile DUI case, contact an experienced Tallahassee criminal defense attorney in your area.

Finding a DUI Attorney for Underage DUI Cases in Tallahassee, FL

A DUI can change a young person’s life, but a charge does not always mean a conviction. A skilled attorney can help you build a defense in your case. If you’re a parent whose child is facing criminal charges after a juvenile DUI offense, finding the right attorney to represent your child’s case is of the upmost importance. To protect your young one’s future, you need a defense team who is prepared to fight the charges and work towards earning back their freedom.

Contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law Firm to discuss the circumstances of the DUI charges and get a free legal consultation. Our attorneys fight DUI charges in Tallahassee and surrounding areas. Call us at (850) 681-7777 or leave us a message online.

Page updated June 15, 2023

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