One effective way to prevent someone from driving while inebriated is to have another driver transport the drunk person. However, what happens when the only person nearly and available is under-age?
Rules and Regulations Matter
The laws are strict when it comes to under-age drivers:
- Section 322.091 allows for the suspension of an under-aged driver’s license for non-compliance with school attendance. Under-aged drivers who keep missing school to transport drunk adults could get their licenses revoked.
- Section 322.2616, Florida Statutes states that it is illegal for a driver under 21 years old to have a BAC of .02. This typically would not be a problem for a sober under-aged driver, but driving with a drunk adult could raise suspicion from police, and the under-aged driver could lose their license if they refuse to take a breathalyzer test.
- Section 322.16(2) restricts when a driver under 17 years old can drive at night. A driver that is under 17 years old cannot drive between 11 pm and 6 am without being accompanied by an adult that is both licensed and 21 years or older. Florida police have as much just cause to pull over an under-aged driver as they do with an erratically-driving adult. Yes, there is an exception for traveling to and from work, but the police won’t know that until after they pull the teenager over and see his drunken companion.
- Section 322.16(3) restricts when a 17-year-old driver can drive at night. The rule is similar, though the time range is 1 am and 5 am.
There is one more issue with this scenario: just because something is legal doesn’t automatically make it just. Yes, drunk people should not take the wheel under any circumstances, and preventing a DUI is far preferable to responding to one. However, subjecting a young teenager to an adult’s inebriated behavior can be traumatic to the young driver in question.
When In Doubt, Consult an Expert
The laws governing DUIs can be complex. The best course of action for those who have been arrested for a DUI – or wish to have a consultation on how to prevent DUIs – is to contact a legal firm with extensive experience in DUI defense.