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Underage driver charged with drunk driving

A Florida driver is facing multiple DUI charges in a two-car crash on U.S. Route 41 that happened on Nov. 1. The man was taken into custody and remanded to the Charlotte County Jail.

The 20-year-old driver is charged with DUI and DUI involving property damage. According to a Florida Highway Patrol representative, the man was also cited for not heeding a traffic light.

Accident reports alleged the Punta Gorda man was in transit in the southbound lanes of the highway in a 1995 BMW when he arrived at the intersection where it crosses Hancock Avenue. Police state the driver continued through the intersection without stopping and hit a 2005 Dodge van. The Caravan's driver, 65, also from Punta Gorda was taken to Fawcett Memorial Hospital with what were described as minor injuries. A male passenger, 84, was not seriously hurt. The BMW driver was uninjured.

In Florida, a blood alcohol content of .02 percent in a driver under 21 will automatically result in the loss of driving privileges for six months. Causing injury to another individual while driving drunk or causing property damage may result in a charge of first-degree misdemeanor along with a $1,000 fine and jail time of up to 12 months. Other penalties may be imposed based on prior convictions.

Substantiating drunk driving charges may involve field sobriety tests, Breathalyzer and blood tests. Breathalyzer equipment must be calibrated and, if this is not done, the result may not be accurate. Field sobriety tests may be judged inadequate due to a person's inability to perform them. This might result from medical conditions.

A driver may wish to consult with an attorney who might review test results and police records. If inconsistencies are present, the attorney may ask for charges to be lessened or dropped.

Source: WFLA.com, "Charlotte Co. man arrested on DUI charge", November 02, 2014

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