Each year, thousands of college students descend on St. Petersburg for traditional spring break revelry—which often involves the consumption of alcohol. Unfortunately, for many students, spring break may also involve an alcohol-related criminal charge, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, or DUI.
If you have sustained a DUI in Florida over Spring Break 2018, you should not delay in seeking experienced legal representation in your case. A DUI conviction can result in serious criminal penalties, such as fines and jail time. In addition, it could also result in serious personal and financial consequences. Colleges and universities can impose sanctions on students who are convicted of crimes, including probation, revocation of a scholarship, or even expulsion. In addition, a DUI conviction could even have an impact on a person’s ability to get into graduate or professional school—or even get a job.
The St. Petersburg DUI defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group may be able to help you formulate a good legal defense to your charge, negotiate a favorable plea deal with the prosecution, and represent you during all court proceedings.
Legal Limit for Minors
Under Florida law, the minimum legal drinking age is 21 years. Under Florida law, there is a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. A person younger than 21 whom police catch driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or above may face a DUI conviction.
Probable Cause for a DUI Arrest
In some cases, minors are arrested for DUIs as part of pretextual traffic stops. In these circumstances, the police ostensibly stop a vehicle for speeding, running a red light, or some other minor traffic infraction, all the while suspecting that the driver has been drinking or is under the influence of alcohol. For example, if an officer sees you and other college-aged students driving in a car, he or she may follow you until you until you make a minor mistake—justifying a traffic stop that allows the officer to observe you up close.
In order to arrest a driver for DUI, the officer must have probable cause that the driver has been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. An officer may develop probable cause if he or she notices the following:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Alcohol odor
- Slurred speech
- Erratic movements
- Admissions to drinking alcohol
- Positive breathalyzer test results
- Poor performance on field sobriety tests
Developing a Good Legal Defense to a DUI Charge
Formulating a good legal defense to a Florida DUI charge can make all the difference between obtaining a dismissal of your charge and being fined or going to jail. Just because you were arrested or charged with a DUI does not always mean that the charge will hold up. Any of the following may be a valid legal defense to a DUI charge:
- Improper or illegal traffic stop (that is, Fourth or Fifth Amendment violations)
- Malfunctioning breathalyzer test equipment
- Violation of a suspect’s Miranda rights
Call an Experienced St. Petersburg DUI Defense Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have been charged or arrested with a DUI over Spring Break, the experienced DUI defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group can explain all of your legal rights and options to you. For a free consultation with a DUI defense attorney in St. Petersburg, call us today at (727) 269-5300 or send us an email through our online contact form.