Anyone arrested for driving under the influence in Florida faces serious immediate and long-term repercussions. For drivers under age 21, the consequences can be even more severe. If you are an underage driver facing DUI charges in Northeast Florida, Tim Armstrong will fight to help you avoid conviction and minimize the consequences of your arrest.
Like most states, Florida imposes a lower blood alcohol level limit for drivers under the age of 21. While the limit for the general population is 0.08, for underage drivers, the limit is 0.02.
If you are pulled over and the police suspect that you were driving under the influence, they will generally perform a field sobriety test. This is a simple test to evaluate your cognitive abilities and there are certain standardized methods that the police are required to use. The most common variants in Florida are standing on one leg, walking in a straight line, and then turning around.
If your performance on the field sobriety tests suggests that you might be under the influence, the arresting officer can require you to take a Breathalyzer or a chemical (blood or urine) test. This is what the police will use to establish your blood alcohol level. If you are under 21 and the test indicates that your blood alcohol level is 0.02 or above, you will be arrested for DUI.
If you refused to take the Breathalyzer or provide a urine or blood sample, the state can use this as evidence against you. In other words, the fact that you didn’t want to take the test will be used to suggest that you must have been violating the law.
Refusal to take a breath, urine, or blood test is also grounds for a one-year suspension of your driver’s license for a first offense. Your license can be suspended even if you aren’t ultimately found guilty of driving under the influence at trial. If you’ve been convicted of DUI in the past, refusal to submit to a breath test or chemical test is a misdemeanor separate and apart from your DUI.
Even in these situations, all is not lost. Tim Armstrong has successfully represented numerous clients who refused blood, breath, and urine tests. The Law Offices of Timothy Armstrong, P.A. has years of experience fighting to protect young drivers’ legal rights.
If you took the tests and failed, you’re not alone. In fact, this is the situation facing the vast majority of our clients. There are a number of different ways that field sobriety and blood-alcohol results can be challenged and invalidated. However, even if your test results stick, we still have plenty of options for seeking to reduce or avoid penalties for your DUI arrest.
As an underage driver, you face severe penalties if convicted of driving under the influence. For a standard first-time offense, these include administrative and criminal driver’s license suspensions, fines, costs to attend mandatory education programs, community service, and probation. The penalties can become much more severe—up to and including serious prison time—if your arrest involved any of these aggravating factors:
In addition to the state-imposed administrative and criminal penalties—not to mention increased insurance premiums for years to come—you also face the implications of being required to disclose your conviction on job applications and college admissions materials. If you’re already in college, you can even face school sanctions as a result of a criminal DUI conviction.
Simply put, there is too much at stake to risk going to court without an experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorney on your side.
Attorney Tim Armstrong fights vigorously to protect individuals who have been arrested for driving under the influence. If you are an underage driver facing DUI charges in Northeast Florida, contact us today by calling 904-356-8618 or fill out the online contact form – we are available to you 24/7.