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Teen Drinking and Driving in Florida

Posted on July 11, 2022

Teenage drinking and driving is a scourge facing our nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 16.7% of high school students rode in a car in the previous 30 days that was driven by someone who had been drinking[1]. Moreover, the CDC also reported that 24% of drivers aged 15-20 who were killed in car crashes had been drinking as well[2]. While it’s dangerous for anyone to drive drunk, its especially perilous for teens. Teens tend to binge drink, so when they drink and drive, they often have a higher blood alcohol content (BAC) than adults do. They are also less experienced drivers than adults and many teenage boys feel they are invincible and take more risks than an adult would.

The State of Florida takes the issue of teenage drinking and driving very seriously. If an underage driver has a BAC as low as 0.02, they are cited for driving under the influence. A BAC of 0.02 is equivalent to drinking one drink or less. In contrast, an adult is not considered driving under the influence until their BAC reaches 0.08. If an underage person is caught driving under the influence of alcohol, their license is suspended for six months for the first offense. For their second offense, it is suspended for a year. If the underage driver refuses to take the sobriety test, their license is automatically suspended for 12 months for the first offense and 18 months for the second.

Following are some tips from ECanter Lawyers about how you can help prevent your teenagers from drinking and driving:

  1. Be a good role model. Your teens look up to you (even if they don’t always act like they do). Avoid driving if you are having any alcohol to drink to help your teens internalize that drinking and driving is an unsafe behavior.
  2. Talk to your teens early and often about the dangers of drinking and driving. Make sure they understand that they may need to disclose a DUI conviction on job, college, and scholarship applications, impacting their future.
  3. Never allow underage drinking in your home; it’s ok if you are an “uncool” parent. Similarly, never allow your child to attend a party where you know alcohol will be served.

The attorneys at ECanter Lawyers have seen first-hand the devastation that drunk driving can cause. It’s essential that your teen understands that drinking any alcohol is too much if they are planning to drive. It’s not just the law, it can save their life.

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[1] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teen Drivers: Get the Facts | Motor Vehicle Safety | CDC Injury Center. Accessed June 1, 2022.

[2] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teen Drivers: Get the Facts | Motor Vehicle Safety | CDC Injury Center. Accessed June 1, 2022.

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