Consequences of Underage Drinking & Driving
Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore is experienced in DUI defense for all ages, including minors. A DUI conviction for an underage driver is especially problematic, due to the harsh lifelong consequences. Broward DUI defense lawyer William Moore Criminal Defense urges young people in the Fort Lauderdale-Dade/Broward/Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area to develop responsible habits.
The legal age for consuming alcohol in Florida is 21. Anyone who consumes alcohol prior to that age is subject to criminal penalties if discovered; likewise, anyone who serves underage customers or purchases alcohol for people under the age of 21 can face criminal charges. Florida law also punishes underage DUI differently than adult DUI. Also, if the person arrested for DUI is under the age of 18, she will appear before a juvenile court.
An adult aged 21 or more may be convicted of DUI in Florida if his blood alcohol content is 0.08 or higher. Alternatively, he may be convicted if his impairment was too great to drive, although his BAC may be lower than 0.08 or if he is under the influence of other intoxicating substances. For example, if you are 24 years old and have a BAC of 0.06 or if you are driving under the influence of cocaine, police can arrest you for Driving Under the Influence if they have evidence to demonstrate that you were too impaired to drive safely. Once your BAC reaches 0.08, then you are presumed to be too drunk to drive properly, even if you appear to have all of your faculties.
Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore has found that drivers under 21 years of age are often unaware that DUI laws affecting them are different than for older drivers. The blood alcohol content level required for a finding of underage DUI is only 0.02, far lower than for adults. Although each person’s body differs in its ability to process alcohol, a 120 pound woman will generally reach that level after just one drink in an hour’s time.
Young people may be less inclined to locate another driver, if necessary, or to contact their parents for a ride due to the stigma and criminal nature of underage drinking. For this reason, it is imperative that parents discuss the risks of underage DUI and appropriate measures to take in those situations.
An informative video concerning the physiological effects of alcohol and the personal consequences felt by a family affected by a teenager’s drinking and driving:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an organization that successfully lobbied for tougher sentencing in DUI laws around the country, also produces anti-underage drinking public service announcements. The organization is opposed to underage DUI, as well as underage drinking generally, and was behind the effort to raise the legal drinking age to 21 in every state. One of their public service announcements can be viewed below:
Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore is an experienced advocate for DUI defendants. If you have been charged with DUI in south Florida, contact William Moore Criminal Defense, P.A., which has an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.
This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.
Article contributed by Mallory Shipman, Esq.