If a person enters a Florida restaurant, has an alcoholic beverage with dinner, then drives home, is he or she breaking the law? The answer depends on a number of factors, including what his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) level happened to be while driving a motor vehicle. It is easiest to avoid facing DUI charges by abstaining from alcohol before getting into a motor vehicle to drive.
Alcohol affects every person’s body differently, and simply consuming a beer or glass of wine does not necessarily mean someone will be illegally operating a motor vehicle if he or she later drives. All drivers are obligated to adhere to traffic laws and safety regulations. Drunk driving is not a traffic violation — it is a crime.
Studies show that someone with a BAC level of .08 or higher is approximately seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision that a sober driver. Also, a person’s BAC might be less than .08, but he or she is still more likely to be involved in a collision than someone without any alcohol in his or her system. Studies also show that driving impairment begins before a person’s BAC reaches .08, which is why it is always best to abstain from alcohol when planning to drive.
If a Florida police officer makes a traffic stop on suspicion of DUI, it is imperative that the driver in question understands his or her rights. There have, in fact, been people charged with DUI who did not consume any alcohol before driving. Such situations can be complex and stressful, which is why it is always best to request support from an experienced criminal defense attorney from the start.