“Smoking” alcohol new trend among teens in Florida

Now that the school year has started once again, high school and college students may be looking for things to do with their friends on the weekends. They may decide to have a party where alcohol is consumed. A new trend in Florida has shown an increase in the number of those under 21 “smoking” instead of drinking alcohol, which means that they are inhaling the vapors that are coming from the substance to become intoxicated faster.

Health professionals are concerned that this method of alcohol intake bypasses the body’s digestive system. The alcohol then goes straight into the person’s bloodstream, where it can have a much quicker impact. These individuals may not know that they are impaired, and then try to operate a motor vehicle.

Many of these teens think that they can avoid a DUI because they inhaled the alcohol. However, if these individuals are stopped by police, they could be facing serious charges if the resulting blood or breath tests show any alcohol present in their systems. It does not matter how the alcohol entered the bloodstream, as either drinking or inhaling can lead to intoxication.

Florida is a zero tolerance state, which places strict rules on drivers under the age of 21. These motorists cannot have a blood-alcohol content higher than 0.02 percent, which averages out to about one drink. Those who inhale the vapors of alcohol instead of drinking it could easily be well-above the legal limit.

Motorists convicted of underage DUI face very severe penalties. They could lose their driving privileges for a significant period of time, and also face high fines. If they incur subsequent DUI charges, they could even be forced to install an ignition interlock device, which will prohibit the operation of a vehicle unless the driver is sober.

If you have been charged with a DUI, you may not understand the implications that this could have on your future. If convicted, you could encounter serious difficulties in restoring your driver’s license, which can make it difficult to work in any occupations that require you to be able to drive. You also will have increased insurance costs, and face even more severe consequences for additional offenses.

Speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about what you can do to defend yourself against these allegations. An attorney will be able to discuss the impact that a conviction will have, and also help you learn more about the potential defenses that may be available for your particular situation. Prosecutors may try to talk you into pleading guilty, but you need to be aware of the complications that could arise for you in the future.