Can You Be Charged for DUI with a Legal BAL?

Many people believe they can avoid a DUI charge by staying below a BAC of .08%. Unfortunately, it is not always that simple. Law enforcement may be able to arrest and charge a driver when their BAC is below the legal limit if they are visibly impaired from drinking. Since charges may be harder to prove in these cases, hiring a Tampa DUI attorney as soon as possible could help your charges get dismisses or the evidence against you get thrown out of court.

What Are the BAC Limits in Florida?

For drivers above the drinking age, any BAC of .08% or above is considered illegal and can result in DUI charges. This is the case even if a driver does not exhibit signs of impairment. However, when a driver exhibits signs of impairment below the legal BAC limit or the evidence for DUI is questionable, prosecutors may downgrade the charges from DUI to “wet reckless.” Wet reckless charges are reckless driving charges involving the use of alcohol or drugs. Florida is one of the few states with a “wet reckless” statute. Wet reckless charges can still result in a criminal record and additional penalties for the defendant, including completion of a substance abuse program.

Specific restrictions for other drivers:

  • Drivers under the age of 21 have a BAC limit of .02%
  • Commercial drivers have a BAC limit of .04%

No criminal charge should be taken lightly, as they can result in thousands of dollars in fines, year-long probation, and months of jail time. Drivers can also have their license revoked or suspended and may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

If you have been charged with DUI, wet reckless, or other charges related to intoxication, make sure you do not delay building your defense. It starts with learning your options. Thomas & Paulk has successfully handled thousands of cases, so call (813) 321-7323 for a free case review!