Ringsmuth, Day & O’Halloran, PLLC - Fort Myers Criminal Defense
Former Prosecutors

What happens when an underage college student faces DUI charges?

An officer pulling you over for suspected drunk driving is serious, and charges related to this type of criminal activity can bring serious repercussions to your life. The penalties and consequences can be even more serious for an underage individual. Florida DUI laws are tough, particularly for those who are not of legal drinking age.

If you are an underage college student facing DUI charges, you know there is a lot on the line for you. Not only are you facing the potential for fines, jail time and more, but your college career is at stake, too. Thankfully, it is possible to fight back against these types of charges and fight for your future. The conviction of a crime can change the trajectory of your life, and you would be wise to take your case seriously.

Zero tolerance laws

Underage college students often find that they have easy access to alcohol on college campuses. They may attend parties where there is alcohol, or they may spend time with other students who are older. Perhaps you were driving back to your dorm room after such an event when law enforcement pulled you over. Maybe you had just a drink or two, and then you found yourself in trouble with the law even if you did not think you were drunk. 

This is because of the zero-tolerance law, which penalizes underage drivers if caught with even a small amount of alcohol in their system. The reason for these laws is to discourage underage drinking and drunk driving among young people. Police can arrest and charge you with a DUI even if your BAC was 0.02% at the time of your traffic stop. For people over the age of 21, 0.08% is the legal limit.

What else is at stake?

Besides the criminal penalties you may face if arrested, you could be in trouble with your school as well. Colleges and universities can penalize students who break the law, no matter the age of the student. When you are working on an appropriate defense strategy, you may also want to consider how you will deal with any administrative hearings and potential penalties as well.

Fighting for your future

There is a lot on the line when facing DUI or underage drinking charges, but a conviction or guilty plea is never your only option. An assessment of your case with an experienced defense attorney can help you understand what you can do to protect your future interests and your education.

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