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Orange County law enforcement releases underage DUI data

Young people are under a tremendous amount of pressure to fit in. Not only that, but youth often lack the sound judgment that comes from life experience. The unfortunate reality is that a singular youthful mistake can have a lifetime of consequences.

Drinking and driving is certainly one of those situations. The unfortunate reality is that a person under age 21, not able to legally consume alcohol, might have one drink mistakenly assuming that it's okay to drive. However, Florida law has a much lower tolerance for younger drivers who might be under the influence of alcohol.

Drivers under the age of 21 do not have the same 0.08 percent standard for legal intoxication. Rather, Florida statute sets the blood-alcohol content limit at 0.02 percent for underage drivers. Furthermore, law enforcement officers have the latitude to detain anyone underage who is suspected of registering any blood-alcohol content whatsoever.

Not long ago, law enforcement agencies throughout Orange County released statistics regarding underage DUIs. Drunk driving arrests among people under 21 increased between 2012 and 2013 near the University of Central Florida campus, which certainly has a large population of young people. At the same time, underage DUI arrests in the downtown Orlando area decreased. Not surprisingly, weekends were the time when the most arrests occurred, with Saturday and Friday taking the top two spots, respectively.

As time passes, individuals may want to pursue DUI expungement. The reality is that an arrest or conviction for drunk driving will permanently remain on a person's criminal record, which could interfere with professional opportunities. For those who faced DUI charges as a young person, pursuing expungement could prove to be invaluable.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Breakdown of Orange underage-DUI stats," Tiffany Walden, April 26, 2014

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