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Is there a lower blood alcohol level for individuals accused of driving under the influence who are under 21 years old?

Tampa DUI attorneys are often asked about the blood alcohol level for individuals above 21, which is .08 for people above 21 years old. This information is well known because of the many public awareness campaigns the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has done to attempt to educate the public about the necessary levels of intoxication to be found guilty of driving drunk.  Further, while these numbers represent a hard statutory cutoff in the eyes of the law, it simply isn’t that simple.   We discuss the multitude of issues associated with Breathalyzer tests elsewhere in our Tampa DUI attorney blog.

It’s worth noting though that for individuals below 21 years of age, the legal drinking age, the lower blood alcohol level for driving under the influence is only .02. As you can tell, this is significantly lower than .08 and may come about simply from one drink for someone under 21 years of age. This is obviously an attempt by the Florida Legislature to curb both underage drinking and underage drinking and driving.  Unfortunately, this lower blood alcohol level can be achieved through non-alcohol issues, such as mouth alcohol or other naturally occurring conditions.

It’s worth noting though that such a lower blood alcohol level often provides significant defenses to Tampa DUI defense attorneys, like ourselves, because such a lower blood alcohol level can result from a number of factors, like mouth alcohol, mouthwash, the normal stomach acids associated with the digestion of food, etc. Again, while this DUI defenses may not be applicable to your particular case, there are ample defenses to cases involving such lower blood alcohol level, including using the video of your field sobriety exercises to attempt to contradict the allegations by law enforcement.  Further, many jurors struggle to truly understand the low Breathalyzer readout and are more likely to rely on your appearance during the DUI DVD because they can actually see your performance as opposed to trying to conceptualize what your blood alcohol level means.

If you or someone you know has questions concerning a DUI involving someone under the age of 21 and a lower blood alcohol level, contact the Tampa DUI attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We have handled thousands of cases in the entire Tampa Bay area and have had great success in getting these sorts of charges reduced and/or even dropped in the right circumstances. If you’d like to contact one of our Tampa DUI attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Tampa DUI attorney blog and look forward to working with you in the future.