If you’re like a lot of people, you enjoy drinking alcohol on occasion. After all, drinking is practically an American pastime. In the United States, it’s common for people to drink at weddings, holiday gatherings, family barbeques, Super Bowl parties, birthday parties, divorce parties, football games, concerts, and so on.
Since alcohol is frequently available at so many places, even our favorite restaurants, it’s critical to remember that while it’s fun to drink alcohol, even one drink can get us in a lot of trouble. “Why would one drink get someone in trouble?” Because, in Florida and across the nation, you can get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) even if your blood-alcohol level (BAL) is less than the .08% legal limit.
Florida DUI with a Low BAL
As a DUI attorney, I am acutely aware of the fact that Floridians can be arrested and charged with DUI, even if they have little to drink. This is because under Section 316.193(a) of the Florida Statutes, it says a person is guilty of DUI if they are under the influence of alcoholic beverages “when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired.” So, how do you interpret this?
Essentially, you can be arrested for DUI even if your BAL is below .08%. As long as the alcohol affects your ability to drive, you can face DUI charges. So, even if you only have a drink or two, I caution you NOT to drive, period. It’s just not worth taking the risk.
What Are My Options?
If you’re in the habit of drinking and waiting some time to “sober up” or if you usually limit yourself to two drinks so you can drive, my advice is to adjust your habits. Instead of engaging in this sort of risky behavior, it’s better to change your mindset completely. The idea is to NEVER drink and drive. And no, caffeine won’t sober you up!
If you have a friend who doesn’t drink, then you can use him or her to be a designated driver, but friends aren’t always reliable. A better option is to leave your car keys at home and call a cab, Uber, or Lyft. These days, it’s so easy to avoid drinking and driving with ridesharing services, and to save money, you can take turns with your friends paying for the Uber or Lyft. One person can pay for the ride to the bar, while the other person pays for the ride home. It’s a lot cheaper than a DUI!