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Underage DUI

Although a person legally becomes an adult upon reaching the age of 18, three more years of alcohol abstinence are mandatory in the State of Florida. Many young adults in the last year of high school or early years of college, however, choose to drink alcohol anyway.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that young drivers under the age of 21 are much more likely to die of a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. To deter minors from driving drunk, Florida has implemented stringent laws and penalties for those under 21 and driving drunk.

An underage DUI conviction may result in a parade of harsh penalties imposed by the courts and by state administrative agencies, including the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHMSV), which has the power to suspend a driver’s license for driving with even a minuscule amount of alcohol if the driver is under 21. In addition, students arrested for DUI may face disciplinary hearings at school.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for an underaged DUI, then it’s within your best interest to gain legal representation.

Find an Attorney for Underage DUI in West Palm Beach, FL

If you were charged with Underage DUI or a similar DUI offense in West Palm Beach, Florida, or the surrounding areas of Palm Beach County, FL, then you should contact an experienced local DUI attorney today. A skilled attorney can challenge a driver’s license suspension and attempt to reduce the legal ramifications of an underage DUI arrest, investigate all other aspects of the case, and fight for a reduction or dismissal of charges.

At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we are focused on DUI cases. We often represent drivers under the age of 21 who are charged with a violation of Florida’s DUI laws. In the past, we have successfully defended many underage clients accused of DUI in court, at administrative license revocation hearings, and at school hearings.

Our attorneys represent clients throughout Palm Beach County, Florida, including the cities of West Palm Beach, Wellington, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, and Belle Glade. We also represent young drivers facing DUI charges in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. at (561) 557-8686 today to schedule a free consultation about your underage DUI charge. We can help you protect your driving privileges and your freedom.

Overview of Under 21 DUI in Florida


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What is the Legal Limit for Underaged Drivers in Florida?

Throughout the United States it’s illegal to drive a motor vehicle under the influence (DUI) of alcoholic beverages or a controlled substance. What you might not know is that minors in the state of Florida have a whole different legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit than an adult over the age of 21. This legislation is also known as the “Zero Tolerance Law.”  Normally, the legal limit you cannot go over in Florida is .08 BAC.

The blood alcohol concentration legal limit for minors is only .02 BAC. This is an incredibly small amount of alcohol for a person to have in their system. Although every person is different, many who have a BAC of .02 only had one or two alcoholic drinks. With such a small legal limit, it’s possible a minor could be charged with DUI even though they aren’t intoxicated at all.

Drivers who violate zero tolerance laws automatically have their license administratively suspended. The suspension term can be up to one year and a second zero tolerance violation could lead to an 18-month suspension.


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Administrative License Revocation Hearings for Underage DUI in FL

A license suspension can be incredibly frustrating and could jeopardize your ability to go to school or work. Thankfully, you have a chance to contest your suspension and receive a restricted license that would allow you to drive for essential needs. You can choose to file for an administrative license revocation hearing (ALR hearing) at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV).

During the hearing, you and your attorney can give reasons as to why it’s imperative you drive for certain needs. However, you must file for an ALR hearing as soon as possible. The state of Florida only gives you 10 days after arrest to demand for a formal review hearing. Once those ten days are up you will no longer be able to request for an ALR hearing. While your attorney is working to fight your suspension, they can help you receive a 42-day temporary driving permit to use while you are waiting for the legal proceedings to end.

The hearing could result in the state reinstating your driving privileges or you may be granted a hardship license. This restricted license will lawfully allow you to drive for fundamental needs such as going to schoolwork or buying home essentials.


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Penalties for Underage DUI in Florida

Underaged drivers may face different blood alcohol concentration guidelines, but they still face the same penalties as an of-age driver. Florida’s penalties for DUI are incredibly serious and could have a lasting impact on your life. A conviction could mean expensive fines in the thousands, various required conditions to complete and even incarceration.

A first offense DUI conviction can result in:

  • Up to six months in jail;
  • Up to 50 hours of community Service;
  • Vehicle impoundment;
  • Mandatory drug or alcohol counseling;
  • One-year license suspension; and
  • A possible fine up to $1,000.

A second DUI offense can result in:

  • Up to nine months in jail;
  • Up to 50 hours of community Service;
  • Vehicle impoundment;
  • Mandatory drug or alcohol counseling;
  • One-year license suspension; and
  • Possible fine between $1,000 and $2,000.

A third DUI offense can result in:

  • Up to 12 months in prison;
  • Up to 50 hours of community Service;
  • Vehicle impoundment;
  • Mandatory drug or alcohol counseling;
  • License suspension; and
  • Possible fine between $2,000 and $5,000

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Additional Resources

Florida DUI Laws – Visit the official website for Florida’s Legislation to learn more about their driving under the influence laws. Access the site to find more information on penalties, possible defenses, suspension terms for underaged drivers and other important information

Alcohol and Drug Prevention – Visit University of Tampa’s website, and see the underage drinking information which was adapted the “Florida Spring Break Survival Guide” by the University of Florida. Read different laws regarding underage alcohol drinkers and users including open container laws, underaged driving and providing alcohol to minors.


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DUI Under 21 Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL

A DUI charge is serious and can have long-term adverse effects on a person accused of DUI, especially on young persons under 21. It could affect your ability to apply to jobs, loans and even get housing. If you or your child were charged with Underage DUI or Juvenile DUI in West Palm Beach, you need to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney right away.

The experienced DUI attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. understand Florida’s DUI laws can use their experience to defend you and fight for your freedom from injustice. We collectively have over 20 years of DUI law experience we can utilize for your case.

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents DUI clients throughout Palm Beach County, including the cities of West Palm Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach, as well as people residing in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. today at (561) 557-8686 to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.


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  • National College for DUI Defense
    The NCDD is a professional, non-profit corporation dedicated to the improvement of the criminal defense bar, and to the dissemination of information to the public about drunk driving law and related issues.
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  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
    NORML is an American non-profit organization based in Washington, DC whose aim is to achieve the legalization of non-medical marijuana in the United States.
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
    The DDLA was founded on principles of democracy, transparency, and freedom of speech. We provide support, resources and education to the top DUI attorneys nationwide.
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  • Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Law Firms In the U.S - 2017 Honoree
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • Broward Association of Criminal Defense lawyers
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • Better Business Bureau