Under Florida law, a breathalyzer test which shows a blood alcohol concentration (or BAC) of 0.08 percent almost certainly guarantees that you will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
However, in some circumstances you can still face DUI charges—even where you blow less than 0.08. For example, if you are younger than 21, the legal BAC limit is 0.02 percent. For commercial drivers, including commercial truck drivers, the legal DUI limit in Florida is 0.04 percent. Moreover, the state can still convict you of DUI if the police officer can establish that you were impaired, regardless of the breathalyzer test reading.
A Florida DUI conviction can result in harsh consequences, including hefty fines, jail time, and mandatory participation in the ignition interlock program. Therefore, if you have been charged with a DUI, you do not want to leave things to chance. You should retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you throughout your case. The experienced DUI defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group can discuss the facts and circumstances of your charge with you and may be able to help you formulate a good legal defense to your DUI charge.
When it comes to alcohol, Florida has a zero tolerance policy in place for drivers who are under the age of 21. Any underage driver who is found to have a BAC of 0.02 percent or greater will receive an automatic license suspension for a period of six months. The idea is that underage drivers are not supposed to be drinking at all, and the 0.02 percent is only in place to allow for mouthwash (or something similar) on the underage driver’s breath.
Professional drivers who hold a CDL—or Commercial Driver’s License—are held to higher standards than other drivers. This includes drivers of big rigs, tractor-trailers, and other large vehicles. CDL drivers may not operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent or above. Moreover, unlike other drivers, they may not refuse to submit to a chemical drug or alcohol test while driving a commercial vehicle.
Police Officer Observations
Even if a police officer administers a breathalyzer test to a driver, and the result shows a BAC of below 0.08 percent, the officer may still be able to arrest the driver. Moreover, a prosecutor may still be able to charge the driver with DUI. In this instance, the prosecutor will rely heavily on police officer evidence and observations to show that the driver was impaired at the time of the traffic stop. Driver impairment may include any or all of the following:
- Defects in motor skills
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Poor balance
Contact a St. Petersburg DUI Defense Attorney Today for a Free Initial Consultation
Florida DUIs are serious business, and the criminal defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group may be able to work with you to develop a good legal defense to your DUI charge. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg, Florida DUI defense lawyer, please call us at (727) 269-5300 or contact us online.