An 18-year-old south Tampa teen was recently arrested for her third DUI in three weeks.
One day after police arrested her on a DUI charge, the teen rear-ended a stopped car. The alleged victims claim she appeared to be drunk.
Police noted she had glassy eyes and allegedly recovered marijuana, a bong, a roach clip and a glass pipe in her van.
She was charged with her third DUI arrest in 18 days – her second in 48 hours.
The teen allegedly told officers on the scene at the March 12 crash that she did not know smoking marijuana and driving would equate to a DUI.
A day earlier, as police were booking her for her second DUI charge the teen apparently told an officer she had smoked marijuana four hours earlier.
Both times she had a blood-alcohol content of 0.00, which indicates she had no alcohol in her system. However, police believe she was impaired and ordered a urine sample. The results from the tests are pending.
The teen appeared in court Monday. A prosecutor filed a motion asking the judge to revoke her bail. The judge sent the teen back to jail.
According to court records, each time the teen was stopped she was violating driving restrictions.
State records indicate the teen had a learner’s license that was issued in November and was not supposed to be driving without an adult in the vehicle.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in the first two months of this year she was cited for careless driving, violating her learner's license, not wearing a seat belt and driving with an open container.
Police claim they found a bottle of Sailor Jerry spiced rum on the floorboard of her father’s van when she was pulled over the first time on Feb. 23.
Officers allegedly found 12 Xanax pills, marijuana and a bong in addition to the bottle of alcohol.
Police claim that the teen kept driving despite receiving a letter from the Department of Highway
Safety stating her license was suspended.
Her license was officially suspended March 20, but by that time she had been arrested three times for DUI.
The legal blood alcohol content in every state for operating a motor vehicle is 0.08 percent. However, this does not apply to teenagers. Most states stringently enforce a "zero-tolerance" policy. Meaning that if police determine a minor is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she can be placed in police custody. Florida law is no different and takes a firm stance on underage drinking and driving. The consequences of a Florida DUI can impact young lives forever.
An underage DUI conviction can seriously compromise a promising future. Penalties associated with a conviction can range from a suspended license to heavy fines and jail time. Other consequences can arise in the future such as rejection from admission to college or employment. Probation may be a possibility, but a minor could still be subject to 60 days in jail on a first DUI conviction, and up to a year on a second.
Despite the circumstances surrounding an underage DUI arrest, the sooner you get legal help the better. Too much is at stake to handle this serious matter on your own. The Florida DUI Defense Lawyers will protect your rights and make sure that a proper investigation into your arrest is performed. We can challenge the initial stop of your vehicle and various types of testing, such as breath, blood and urine tests.
Whether you are underage or of legal drinking age and have been arrested for DUI in Tampa or throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call our Hillsborough County office at 813-221-3200 or reach us statewide and toll-free by dialing 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).