If you’re under the age of 21, you can’t even have one drink before getting behind the wheel. That’s the bottom line with zero tolerance laws, and if you’re caught you’ll immediately lose your license for a period of time as determined by your state. But a few teens found out the hard way that driving under the influence in Florida (DUI) can have consequences far more severe than just the loss of their license.
Take Erin Skye Starkey for example – the 18 year old was arrested after she drove intoxicated with a child in the vehicle, hit a bicyclist from behind, left the scene, and then crashed into her own house. When her blood alcohol level was tested, she blew .196, which is far over the legal limit of .02 for under 21 and .08 for over 21. Because she choose to drink and drive, she has been charged with DUI and child neglect.
Joshua Beckwith is another 18 year old in Florida who got behind the wheel after drinking and is now going to pay a severe price for his actions. After hitting a utility pole, mailbox, and street sign, then injuring three of his passengers, Beckwith was arrested and booked on one count of driving under the influence, one count of driving under the influence and serious bodily injury to another, and 7 counts of driving under the influence and property damage. Not only did he need to pay a $14,000 bond to be released from lockup, he’s also going to be held accountable to Florida’s DUI laws and will have to pay fines, may spend time in jail, and may be required to install an ignition interlock in his vehicle after his license suspension.
Making mistakes is part of growing up, and teens will definitely make a wrong choice or two as they grow into adults. Unfortunately for these teens, the choice to drink and drive isn’t an error in judgment – it’s a choice that has long-term consequences no matter how old you are.