Palm Beach DUI May Prove Costly for Spring Breakers

Last year, some 100,000 spring breakers flocked to Florida to enjoy the sand, surf and a break from their studies. welcometomiami.jpg

However, our West Palm Beach DUI lawyers know that many left with more than a tan. They ended up with a criminal record.

Florida is the top destination in the country for spring break revelers.

According to the state’s Business and Professional Regulation’s Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco division, some 20,000 fake IDs were seized just in Daytona and Panama City. In those two areas, there were 2,000 arrests of individuals aged 15 to 21 over the four-week spring break period.

During that time, the Journal of American College Health estimated that the average male spring breaker was consuming 18 drinks daily, while the average female spring breaker was downing 10 drinks a day, with about 50 percent reporting they passed out or became ill at least once.

Law enforcement officials report that some of the most commonly broken laws during Florida spring break include:

1. DUI 2. Underage consumption 3. Public intoxication 4. Illegal sales or purchase of alcohol and/or drugs
As such, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles and the Florida Highway Patrol is launching a campaign to urge spring breakers to keep their behavior in check. The campaign, “Spring Broke 2013” tells partiers that a Florida DUI is something they can’t afford. The posters tally up the costs for fines, DUI school, monitoring, license reinstatement, impound fees, insurance, probation and ignition interlock, bringing the estimated total to somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000. Those involved in crashes will have to pay more, the department warns.

Out-of-state defendants should know that a Florida DUI may result in your having to return for important court dates – which could result in you missing classes or work. Our experienced Palm Beach DUI defense lawyers have helped countless out-of-towners, and we work hard to help limit the impact to your every-day life.

FL Statute 316.193 addresses the state’s DUI laws.

The points being driven home by state law enforcers are these:

–The legal drinking age in Florida is 21. Anyone who is younger than that and in possession of alcohol can be cited for a second-degree misdemeanor.
–Anyone who sells alcohol to a person under 21 or purchases alcohol for someone who isn’t yet 21 can also be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.
–If you have an open container in your vehicle, whether you are actually driving it or not, you can be cited or even arrested for DUI.
–While 0.08 percent blood alcohol content is the limit for over-21 drivers, under-21 drivers can be arrested for DUI for having a blood alcohol content of as low as 0.02 percent.

If you are arrested for any of these offenses while on spring break, you need to contact a local attorney before you leave town or as soon as possible.

If you are arrested while on spring break in Palm Beach or Broward counties, contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert, a Partnership of Former Prosecutors, for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1.888.5.DEFEND.

Additional Resources:
Warnings for spring breakers issued by state, March 1, 2013, By Linda Trischitta, Sun Sentinel
More Blog Entries:
State v. McCave Shows Fort Lauderdale Police Can Be Too Aggressive in DUI Cases, Oct. 15, 2011, Palm Beach DUI Lawyer Blog

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