Have you been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida even though your breath alcohol content (BAC) was less than 0.08? If so, you’re probably wondering how you could still be arrested, given the “legal limit” of 0.08. The answer is below.
Under Florida law, the State has to prove one of two things in your case to convict you of DUI. First, the State must prove that while you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent your “normal faculties” were impaired. Normal faculties include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.
Alternatively, to convict you of DUI the State must prove while you were driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle you had a breath alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. A BAC of 0.08 or higher results in a conclusive presumption you were under the influence of alcohol to the extent your normal faculties were impaired. That is the primary reason most attorneys recommend not consenting to a breath test if there is any question about your BAC.
So if you blew less than 0.08, how can you still be subject to a charge of DUI? It’s because of certain presumptions about BAC ranges and how juries can consider other evidence of impairment in addition to your BAC. Continue reading