Anyone convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida could be in legal jeopardy. Although auto liability insurance may cover losses resulting from an accident, criminal DUI charges may be much harder to address, mainly when blood alcohol concentration (BAC) establishes someone’s intoxication level. Teenagers might find themselves in a difficult position since they drove while intoxicated and engaged in underage drinking, too.
Teenagers and drunk driving
Anyone who drinks and drives increases the chances of an accident substantially. With teenagers, the risks may be worse than realized. Statistics show that drunk drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 with a .08% BAC put their lives in danger. Such drivers are 32 times more likely to die in a crash than an adult.
Fatal car accidents might have many victims. The drunk driver could survive but leave innocent victims dead. Vehicular manslaughter charges might follow the initial drunk driving arrest.
Not all drunk driving arrests end with injuries or the loss of life. The police may stop an erratic driver, perform a field sobriety test and make an arrest. Of course, the DUI defendant has a right to a defense.
Defending underage DUI charges
When a teen driver faces charges for drunk driving, a central question centers on whether the driver was intoxicated. False positives may come from the poor calibration of the device and even from using mouthwash. The police cannot stop a DUI suspect without probable cause, either. Without probable cause, any evidence from the arrest might be inadmissible.
When evidence against the defendant proves strong, plea bargaining may be necessary to avoid harsh sentencing. Sometimes, it may be possible to seek leniency during sentencing. Each case differs based on circumstances.