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We have deep ties to the community, we have represented clients in Southwest Florida for more than 25 years.

Was your child charged with DUI under zero-tolerance laws?

As a parent, you undoubtedly want to see your child thrive and do well in life. Now that he or she has reached adulthood — albeit young adulthood — you likely hoped that you would receive outstanding reports regarding grades in college, learn about awards and new friendships, and overall feel as if your child is on the right track.

What you may not have anticipated and were in shock to find out, however, is that an officer pulled over your child and charged him or her with DUI. Because he or she is under the age of 21, you may have felt dismayed that your child was consuming alcohol at all, let alone getting behind the wheel after drinking. 

Why criminal charges?

Unfortunately, even though your child is under the legal drinking age, he or she can still face serious criminal charges. Like all states, Florida has a zero-tolerance law that makes it illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to drive even with just a small amount of alcohol in their systems. For those over the age of 21, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration level is 0.08%. This means that, if a driver’s BAC level reaches or exceeds that limit, he or she will face a DUI charge.

When it comes to zero-tolerance laws and underage drinking, the BAC level that can lead to DUI charges is much lower. In fact, the range could be 0.00% to 0.02%. In Florida, the zero-tolerance level is 0.02%, which means that, if your child is facing charges, he or she likely had a BAC level of at least that amount.

Now what?

These strict laws for underage drinking and driving are in place in efforts to lessen the likelihood of serious or fatal car accidents involving those ranging in age from 15 to 20 years old. While you likely understand why these laws are important, you certainly worry what effects a DUI charge will have on your child’s future.

Though you and your child may both feel that this ordeal is unfair, you must still deal with it appropriately. Because your child is a young adult and likely has no experience handling such a serious predicament, you may have to shoulder a great deal of the responsibility when it comes to ensuring that he or she properly addresses the criminal case. As a result, you may want to reach out to a knowledgeable defense attorney for information.


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