D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
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Binge drinking is a serious matter for an underage driver

A young person is out at the beach on a Saturday evening, enjoying a party at which he and his friends engaged in binge drinking. On his way home to Bradenton, a law enforcement officer stops him on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

He does not realize the serious implications until he sobers up hours later.

What it is

Binge drinking is a pattern of alcohol consumption that is popular among high school and college students. While their parents may have a beer or cocktail before dinner now and then, young people who are binge drinkers might only indulge on one night a week. However, at that time they consume alcohol in great quantities. This pattern of drinking brings the blood alcohol content level to 0.08 percent or above quickly. For men, it means consuming at least five alcoholic drinks within a two-hour time frame; for women, four drinks or more.

A common activity

Binge drinking is a common activity for people aged 18 to 34, and more common among men than women. Findings from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicate that one in seven teenagers engages in binge drinking, but only one in 100 parents is aware that his or her child does this.

Driving dangers

Binge drinking and driving is a dangerous combination, especially when an underage driver is behind the wheel: Young drivers often feel that they are invincible. In the state of Florida, it is illegal for a motorist under the age of 21 to drive with a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher.


As a first offender and underage driver, the young man is facing some heavy penalties, among which is the loss of his driver’s license, a serious situation since he needs to get to class and to his part-time job. His rights must be protected, and a reduction in penalties may be possible, including the reinstatement of his driving privileges. However, DUI is a criminal offense, and if the police arrest him for drinking and driving a second time, the penalties will be even more sobering than they are now.

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D. Scott Rieth
9040 Town Center Parkway, Suite 103A
Bradenton, FL 34202

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