It is illegal for an individual who is under the age of 21 to be in physical control of a motor vehicle while having a blood-alcohol or breath-alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.02 or higher.1 If a police officer has reason to believe that an individual is operating their vehicle while under the influence and they are under the age of 21, they can ask that they submit to a chemical test to determine what their BAC level is.
What if an underage drunk driver refuses a chemical test?
If an individual refuses to submit to a chemical test in Port Charlotte, FL, their driving privileges will be suspended for one year if it is their first time refusing the test or 18 months if it is their second time.
How long will an underage drunk driver lose their driving privileges if their BAC is 0.02 or higher?
If an underage driver submits to a chemical test and their BAC level is 0.02 or higher, their driving privileges shall be suspended for a six-month period if it is their first offense. If an individual already had their privileges suspended as a result of operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level of 0.02 or higher, their driving privileges shall be suspended for one year.
Drunk drivers who are underage with a BAC level of 0.05 will be required to complete a substance abuse course.
When an Individual Under the Age of 18 is Caught Driving with a BAC Level of 0.02 or Higher
In addition to losing their driving privileges, minors who are under the age of 18 who are caught operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level of 0.02 or higher may be “taken by a law enforcement officer to the addictions receiving facility in the county [they were caught driving].”
Should an underage drunk driver hire a DUI lawyer in Port Charlotte, FL if they were caught with a BAC level of 0.02 or they refused a chemical test?
Anytime a driver is accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, they should schedule an initial consultation with a Port Charlotte, FL DUI attorney. An attorney can review their charges and determine what the likelihood is of them being offered a plea deal that could result in their charges being reduced.
If a person under the age of 21 was caught operating a vehicle while intoxicated and caused an accident that resulted in property damage and/or injuries, they are encouraged to seek legal help from an attorney at Lewis Law.
Lewis Law is a criminal defense law firm located in Port Charlotte that can help an individual or the parent of a minor understand the charges they are up against and whether hiring a DUI lawyer would be in their best interest.
Lewis Law can be reached at:
17827 Murdock Circle, Suite B
Port Charlotte, Florida 33948
Phone: (941) 875-1903