Underage DUI Lawyer Serving Palm Beach County FL
Everybody makes mistakes of one kind or another when they’re young—it’s just part of growing up. But when one of those mistakes is underage DUI, your child is suddenly faced with serious consequences. You need a skilled underage DUI lawyer who can fight for your rights in this stressful situation and secure a favorable outcome.
At Simko Law Group, our attorney Andrew Simko has years of experience helping clients across Palm Beach County fight Florida under 21 DUI charges. While every case is different, one constant is the fact that Florida has some of the strictest laws regarding underage drinking and driving.
What You Need to Know About Florida Under 21 DUI Laws
In the state of Florida, as with all states, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for adults aged 21 or older is .08%. So, you might naturally think that the underage DUI limit is the same for those under 21.
This isn’t the case. Florida DUI laws are far more severe for drivers aged 20 and younger.
The legal BAC for underage drivers is .02%, which can be achieved with just one beer in many cases. Even though adults of legal age can technically drive with this BAC, you face major consequences for doing so while underage.
And keep in mind that regardless of your age, you give your implied consent for a breath test just by operating a vehicle in the state of Florida. If you’re pulled over for a suspected DUI, the officer is very likely to ask that you submit to a breath test. If, as an underage driver, you say yes and your BAC is .02% or higher, you may face severe penalties.
Penalties for Underage DUI in Palm Beach County
The penalties for underage DUI in Palm Beach County vary greatly depending on the details of your case, such as the recorded BAC and whether this is a first or subsequent offense. Here are the penalties for underage DUI in Palm Beach County with a BAC at/above .02%, but below .08%:
- Driver’s license suspension for six months (if first offense)
- Driver’s license suspension for one year (if subsequent offense)
- Mandatory completion of a substance abuse course (if BAC was .05 or higher)
- Substance abuse evaluation following completion of the course (results shared with parents/guardians if under age 19)
- May be taken to the county’s addiction receiving facility (if under age 18)
In Palm Beach County, it’s also legal for your child to instead face adult DUI charges if their BAC was at or above .08%. Per Florida Statutes § 316.193, the potential consequences for a first-offense DUI include:
- Minimum $500 fine, up to $1,000
- Additional court fees
- Up to six months of probation
- Driver’s license suspension for 180 days minimum, up to one year
- Vehicle impoundment
- Up to six months of incarceration in county jail
- 50 hours of mandatory community service
No matter which penalties your underage child is facing, it’s crucial to start working with an attentive, knowledgeable underage DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you hire legal representation, the sooner you can start mitigating these potentially life-changing consequences.
Hire a Knowledgeable, Attentive Underage DUI Defense Lawyer to Fight for You
If your child is convicted of DUI in Florida, it can’t be sealed or expunged. The conviction can cast a long shadow over what’s supposed to be the prime of their life. They deserve a fair shot at life, and to have their rights protected throughout the entire legal process.
You need a reliable, focused underage DUI lawyer to fight for you, not just in court, but every step of the way. That’s exactly what you’ll get when you choose Simko Law Group. Contact our law office today or call (561) 951-1264 to schedule your consultation.
FAQs About Florida Under 21 DUI
What is the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers under 21 in Palm Beach County, FL?
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers under 21 in Palm Beach County, FL is under .02% per Florida law. This is commonly known as the “zero-tolerance policy.”
Said another way, if you’re under 21 and drive with a BAC of .02% or higher, you can be charged with underage DUI.
Can an underage driver refuse a BAC test in Palm Beach County? What are the consequences?
Yes, you can technically refuse a BAC test in Palm Beach County as an underage driver, though doing so will result in a driver’s license suspension of at least one year. However, you’ll be issued a 10-day temporary driving permit so long as you’re otherwise eligible.
Refusing the breathalyzer will also make you ineligible for the Florida pretrial diversion program if you’re ultimately convicted of DUI.
These details give you a glimpse into just how complex the Florida legal system is when it comes to underage DUI. Working with a focused, knowledgeable underage DUI lawyer is the best way to understand your options for securing a favorable outcome.
What steps can be taken to mitigate the impact of an underage DUI on future opportunities (e.g., college admission)?
Some steps you can take to mitigate the impact of an underage DUI on future opportunities, such as college admissions, are:
- Demonstrating personal growth and positive changes during the college admission process
- Avoiding subsequent criminal offenses, as repeat offenses raise red flags for employers
- Knowing what your child is and isn’t legally required to disclose during application processes
- Ensuring your child has a strong support network to discourage future bad decisions
These steps are good options if your child has already been convicted of underage DUI in Palm Beach County. But ultimately, the best way to mitigate any potential impacts of an underage DUI is by hiring a knowledgeable, reliable underage DUI defense lawyer like Andrew Simko immediately following the arrest.
As a former state prosecutor with years of experience, he knows exactly how the state is likely to construct the case against your child—and exactly how to build a strong defense against their tactics.
To learn more about your options and how our experienced Palm Beach County DUI lawyer Andrew Simko can help protect your child’s future, just call Simko Law Group now at (561) 951-1264.