The Impact of BAC Levels on DUI Penalties and Accident Liability
A DUI is issued when an individual operates a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are many types of DUI, such as: aggravated, felony, misdemeanor, commercial, metabolite, marijuana, low BAC, high BAC, and boating under the influence. Consequences can include monetary fees, jail time, community service hours, a license suspension, or a negative impact on your insurance rate. The blood alcohol content (BAC) level will play a big role in whether you will have to endure these consequences. Consult a trustworthy DUI attorney if you believe you did not get a fair BAC analysis.
About Blood Alcohol Content
The decision to charge someone with a DUI will depend heavily on an individual’s BAC level, which measures the amount of alcohol in the individual’s bloodstream. Not every person will have the same BAC after consuming the same type and amount of alcohol, since it can depend on characteristics such as age, gender, and weight. BAC is significant because once alcohol enters the bloodstream, it travels to the brain and impacts cognitive abilities. BAC is usually measured when a police officer suspects a motorist of driving under the influence, pulls them over, and has them take a breathalyzer test. This test can measure your BAC based on the alcohol on your breath.
The Impact of BAC Levels on DUIs
The penalties you receive will depend on the BAC number you blow. This number can also be used against you in a civil case for damages after a car accident.
BAC Under 0.08 (“Low BAC DUI”)
Generally, if you are found to be driving with a BAC over 0.8, you will be arrested for DUI. However, this does not automatically mean that you have no chance of being arrested if you are driving with a DUI lower than 0.08. This is not the limit of where cognitive impairment begins. Regardless of what impacts your BAC, any amount of alcohol can lead to cognitive impairment.
If you are under 21, the level at which you can be arrested for a DUI is 0.02 instead of 0.08. If you are an adult driving a commercial vehicle, such as a bus or delivery truck, the level at which you can be arrested for a DUI is 0.04.
BAC Over 0.15 (“High BAC DUI”)
Once your BAC is over 0.15, the fines and penalties increase in severity. The punishments for driving with a BAC over .15 or higher include fines, jail time, community service, and losing the privilege to drive. Additionally, car insurance premiums will increase even when a person earns their driving privileges back. The fines will go up with repeat offenses.
A first conviction can bring a fine of up to $2,000, up to nine months in jail, 50 hours of community service, up to one year of probation, and driver’s license suspension of six months to one year. If the first two convictions are within five years of each other, the person could lose their driving privileges for up to five years.
Consult an Attorney if Your BAC Test Leads to a DUI Charge
Since Florida has strict DUI laws, an individual should take charges seriously and address them in a time-sensitive manner with the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The Umansky Law Firm has a long history of successfully helping our clients fight charges. Call us today for a free consultation of your case.