Sending your child off to a Florida college may have been a bittersweet moment for you. It may have caused you some heartache to see your young adult heading out on his or her own, but you likely also felt a sense of pride in knowing that your child would be working to brighten his or her future.
However, after just a few weeks away, those bittersweet feelings may have turned just bitter after learning that an officer pulled over your underage child and arrested him or her for DUI. When you learned the news, you may have understandably felt a number of emotions, from anger to confusion to concern. What has your child gotten into?
Zero tolerance laws
Your child may have tried to play off the event by saying that he or she only had one drink or otherwise did not drink much before driving. However, when it comes to underage drinking and driving, the legal limit is much lower due to zero tolerance laws. Numerous states, including Florida, have zero tolerance laws for underage drinking and driving. In the state, if your child had a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.02% or higher, he or she broke the law.
It may seem somewhat unfair for the law to be so much stricter for young adults, but these laws are in place in efforts to lower the number of deaths among individuals age 15 to 20 due to car crashes. Approximately 35% of fatal car accidents involving individuals in this age range have alcohol as a contributing factor. You undoubtedly feel relieved that your child was not involved in a crash and still has his or her life, but you still face a complicated situation.
Defending against charges
A conviction for DUI could have substantial effects on your child’s future in many ways. He or she could even face administrative penalties from the college or university. You certainly want to mitigate the negative effects this mistake could have for your child, and in efforts to do that, you may need to gain information on how to defend against underage DUI allegations.
Though the case is ultimately your child’s to handle, you will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in ensuring that he or she has the legal support needed to handle the criminal charges.