For young people going away to college freshman year represents independence and freedom never seen before.
Sometimes with the new freedom comes bad decisions. One bad decision that we see a lot of with young people is college students charged with DUI.
Tampa and Hillsborough County has more DUI arrest than any other county in the state of Florida. This is surprising considering it’s the fourth most populous county.
The police departments in the Tampa area are known for their aggressive proactive enforcement on DUIs. Perhaps no more so than the targeting of college students.
The University of South Florida Police Department both in Tampa and St. Petersburg has been known to set up roadblocks to try to catch students in DUI. The University of Tampa is located inside the city limit on state road 60 right outside of the city. That is a prime area for DUI selective enforcement by the Tampa Police Department.
Attorneys for College Students Charged with DUI in Tampa, Florida
It’s especially tough to be a college student charged with the DUI in Tampa Florida because you have more to worry about than the basic criminal charge.
College students for state and private universities in Tampa Bay may seek additional penalties and administrative review hearings from their university.
College students tend to be less than 21 years old and face heightened administrative penalties because they were driving and under the influence at a young age.
Discipline Hearings at the University after DUI arrest
Surprisingly the local resting agencies are working with the local universities and in effect tattletale lying on students arrested for DUI charges.
Once the University learns of a DUI arrest they have the option of bringing a disciplinary hearing for the student violating the code of conduct for University. This is especially likely to happen if the DUI happen on University property or very close to it. Or, if the DUI resulted in an auto accident and corresponding injury to the other driver.
DUI administrative penalty when the college student is under 21 years old
Were all familiar with the .08 rule when it comes to DUIs. Specifically, person can be found guilty of DUI if they have a blood alcohol test that is above the .08. These blood alcohol test can be done via the breath lies or machine or via an actual blood draw.
The Department of motor vehicles in Florida also will administratively penalize individuals who have blood alcohol levels over a .08.
Unfortunately for students and those who are under 21 years of age there are heightened penalties administratively with driving under the influence. Specifically, students face and administrative suspension for driving with a blood alcohol content of only .04. That’s only half of the legal limit.
We see cases where students are arrested for a DUI only to blow a blood test result is less than the legal limit. And while this is helpful in the ultimate prosecution and defense of their DUI claim the student is still faced with administrative penalties related to the blow.
After receiving notice of the suspension, the student has an opera unity to file a demand for a formal review hearing within 10 days of the notice.
These formal review hearings are held at the Department of Motor Vehicles on Hillsborough Avenue. The beauty of these hearings is we can subpoena the officers involved to bring them to the hearing to prove up their case. If the officers do not appear and that can result in an automatic dismissal of the case.
Especially with University police officers they really don’t like having to go to these hearings. They also don’t know how to testify these hearings because they don’t do DUIs every day. The result is even with these administrative sanctions we can fight them and often fight them successfully.
Our team of DUI attorneys are uniquely qualified to handle the issues that come with a college student DUI
Lead partner and DUI trial attorney Lee Perlman is more trial experience than any other DUI attorney in the Tampa area. This willingness to go to trial has leads to state attorneys being more likely to resolve the case short of having to try the issue. The reality is most college kids don’t want to see the courtroom with her case but rather want to find a resolution that will protect the record as they had off into the workforce in the future.
We offer free consultations in our Tampa location located less than 10 minutes from University of South Florida. We also offer free consultations in our other Tampa Bay area locations including our St. Petersburg downtown all which is just a few blocks away from the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus.