Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. Warns Drivers as Law Enforcement Cracks Down on Underage DUIs

Kevin Hayslett, Clearwater DUI Lawyer

Stay safe and stay informed.

As summertime rolls around, Floridians will have more opportunities for backyard barbecues, beach trips and other leisure activities with their loved ones. The good times are often accompanied by alcohol, which can put those engaging in risky situations, including potentially driving under the influence, or DUI.

Drunk driving affects communities all across the nation, not just the Tampa Bay area. In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in the United States. Every day, 28 people across the country die as a result of drunk driving crashes.

This is an issue that affects both underage and of-age drivers and passengers. In the U.S., approximately 2,000 underage drinkers die each year behind the wheel. Additionally, alcohol is a factor in one-third of all teenage auto fatalities. This is commonly tied to the tendency of those who are underage to binge drink, as well as their tendency to not wear seatbelts.

Being convicted of driving under the influence can damage anyone’s driving record, but is even more detrimental to underage drivers. The state of Florida has a Zero Tolerance policy for underage DUIs. This means any driver under 21 stopped by law enforcement with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida driver’s license suspended for 6 months. A BAC of .02 corresponds with a single drink. This policy simultaneously combats both underage drinking and driving under the influence.

The penalties for DUI in Florida are as follows:

  •     Fine of $250 – $500
  •     Community service – 50 hours
  •     Probation – Not more than 1 year
  •     Imprisonment- Not more than 6 months

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