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Underage Drunk Driving in Florida

If the police officer who pulls over a motor vehicle based on DUI suspicion possesses a reasonable belief that the person driving or controlling the car is under the age of 21 and is under the influence of alcohol then the police officer has the right to lawfully and forcefully detain this person in addition to his or her request(s) for the driver’s blood-alcohol level. Being detained by the officer does not constitute an arrest and the violation by the driver is neither a traffic infraction nor a criminal offense. The first time a driver gets convicted of having a BAC of .02 or above while driving and while under the age of 21 then his or her license is suspended for a minimum period of six months. If a person under the age of 21 refuses to submit to a BAC test then his or her license shall be suspended for a period of one year. The second time that the minor refuses to have himself or herself tested for BAC then that person shall have his or her license suspended for 18 months. In Florida law, the suspension shall be effective immediately. If the minor’s BAC is .05 or higher then the suspension shall remain in effect on the driver until the driver completes a substance abuse evaluation and course. The police officer shall issue the driver a temporary permit that takes affect 12 hours after issuance and which is valid for 10 days, provided that the driver is otherwise eligible.


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