Most Florida drivers are well aware of the fact that they can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if they are caught driving with a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .08% or more in their system. With that knowledge in mind, it’s common practice for people to have a “drink or two” before they hit the road, believing they can’t get a DUI if their BAC doesn’t reach the .08% threshold.
Or, what they’ll do is they’ll have three or four drinks over several hours, drink a couple of glasses of water here and there, and “wait it out” until they think the alcohol has passed through their system. They figure that by the time they hit the road, their BAC will be low enough that it will be under .08%.
Unfortunately, those who think they can’t get a DUI unless their BAC is .08% or above are mistaken. You CAN get arrested for DUI, even if your BAC is under .08%, especially if you’re under the combined influence of certain prescription medications, such as antipsychotics and alcohol.
What does the law say?
Under Section 316.193(1)(a), it’s unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any controlled substance to the extent that their ability to drive safely is impaired.
In other words, if a driver is impaired by any amount of drugs or alcohol and the impairment has affected their ability to operate a vehicle safely, then the driver can be arrested and charged with DUI, regardless of BAC.
Penalties for a first DUI offense in Florida:
- Up to one year probation,
- A fine between $500 and $1,000,
- Up to 6 months in jail,
- With a BAL of 0.15% or higher, up to 9 months in jail,
- Up to one year driver’s license revocation,
- For a hardship reinstatement, must complete DUI school, and
- 50 hours of mandatory community service, or $10 fine for each hour of community service that is required of the defendant.
If you are facing DUI charges for having a low BAL, for being under the influence of alcohol and drugs, or for any other reason, I urge you to contact my Miami DUI defense firm at once for an aggressive defense.
Not only do I have over 30 years of experience, I have an A+ Rating with the BBB and am a member of the National College for DUI Defense. Call today for a free case evaluation!