If you partake in alcoholic beverages even on an occasional basis, you have probably been in the position of seriously considering whether you should drive after a fun night out. You likely know your limit, whether you've been a drinking heavyweight from a young age or have a glass of wine here and there. Unfortunately, when it comes to the law, there are no concessions for how well you “hold” your alcohol. There are so many factors when considering whether or not you should drive after drinking. I've created an overview of things to consider before you get behind the wheel.
What is a DUI?
In any state, any substance that impairs a person's ability to drive can lead to a DUI charge. This includes prescription medications. One of the most common causes for being charged with a DUI, is alcohol consumption. In the majority of states, including Florida, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to drive is below .08%. That means that if you're pulled over and submit to a breathalyzer and test .08% or above, you will be arrested for a DUI.
What are the consequences of a DUI?
The legal ramifications vary by case, but Florida has a general fine schedule available to the public for a quick reference guide. The biggest takeaway is that the fines grow after each offense. At a certain point, you can be labeled as a habitual traffic offender, and lose your license. Reaching this point can make your life extremely difficult. Not only do you have convictions on your record, but you could lose transportation for work or school, lose your job, and harm your reputation. Before getting to this point, make sure that you reach out to me so we can discuss your options!
How is BAC calculated?
BAC measures how much alcohol is present per 100 milliliters of blood. If you have a blood alcohol level of 0.03, that means that there are 30 milligrams per deciliter of alcohol in your blood. There are many articles that give the exact mathematical and biological systems that come into play when calculating your BAC. Realistically speaking, if you reach the point where you have to sit and think about how your alcohol consumption is affecting your BAC, then it's safe to assume that you should avoid driving!
After a really fun night, chances are, you're not really using math to figure out your exact BAC anyway. So many people make judgments on their level of impairment on arbitrary comparisons. Thinking to yourself: “I'm about the same height and weight as my buddy, we had the same amount to drink and they're doing just fine, so I am too,” is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Even in the impossible scenario that you are exactly the same age, height, and mass as someone else, no two people process alcohol the same way.
Each body processes alcohol differently. Metabolism, food intake, genetics, medications, and the amount of time that has passed are all factors that contribute to an individual BAC. Even if you do trust your amazing math and biology knowledge to calculate your own BAC, there are a lot of factors that you may not be able to control. Is the bartender “heavy-handed?” Are you mixing different types of alcohol in one drink? It just isn't worth the risk. If you frequently find yourself in this position, consider investing in a personal breathalyzer to be safe.
Of course, we all wish we could just end the night on our terms without concern for the law, but sometimes the consequences of our choices are unavoidable. Regardless of the offense, you still deserve aggressive and judgment-free legal representation. If you are being charged with a DUI in spite of your best efforts, call the office of Malcolm Anthony, P.A. at 904-285-4529 (4LAW) to set up an appointment as soon as possible.
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