Feds Considering Lowering Legal Limit for DUI from .08 to .05?

On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board has announced that it has recommended that the lawful blood alcohol content, or BAC, be moved nationwide from .08 percent down to .05 percent. The aim is to cut the nearly 10,000 deaths every year related to alcohol impaired driving.

Currently in Florida the legal limit is set at .08. A move down to .05 would essentially put almost any driver over the limit after just one drink, criminalizing essentially lawful behavior, as most drivers are not actually impaired at .05. Obviously, NTSB is pushing to eventually get a “zero tolerance” type policy to prohibit a driver from consuming any alcohol prior to driving.

Our firm sees dozens of drivers arrested each year in Tampa Bay, even if they are under the legal limit of .08. What many drivers do not realize is that in Tampa, drivers are not breath-tested at the scene, but rather after an arrest is made. This means that often times, a driver “fails” field sobriety exercises after an officer notices the odor of alcohol on his or her breath, the upon submitting a breath sample it is clear the driver is under the limit – sometimes even blowing .000! This also means that even if you blow under the limit, you are still arrested and charged with DUI.

What this means is that just because you are arrested for DUI, all hope is not lost. Even if your blow is over the limit, there are still many defenses available. For example, was your breath over the limit at the time of driving, or did your body continue to absorb alcohol while you were transported to the breath test machine, causing your BAC to read higher than it actually was at the time of arrest? This is just one of many defenses that can be raised following a DUI arrest.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, call Taracks & Associates today at 813-281-2897. We have five lawyers on staff who are highly experienced when it comes to fighting DUI’s across Florida. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation at 813-281-2897.

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