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Florida BAC level may become lower

Florida could be one of the states considering implementing the new recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board to reduce the legal limit on blood alcohol content necessary to charge a driver with DUI. The NTSB has made its recommendation to reduce BAC levels from .08 to .05 in the hope that drunk driving rates will decrease. Currently, one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities are due to drunk driving.

The NTSB has also recommended other measures, such as allowing police officers to confiscate the driver's license of anyone who fails a field sobriety test. The agency hopes that this move will keep drivers off the road during their time of impairment and reduce the risk to these individuals as well as to other drivers on the highway.

Lowering the BAC level from .08 to .05 would immediately affect Florida drivers and might cause a spike in DUI-related arrests. Currently, Florida's .08 percent limit means that a person of 180 pounds could feasibly consume four alcoholic drinks in an hour and remain under the legal limit. However, if the BAC level is lowered to .05, that same person might register as impaired after only a few drinks.

A DUI attorney may represent a person accused of drunk driving. Those charged with DUI are often facing severe penalties if convicted. Florida allows judges to take away a driver's license and to sentence him or her to jail in some cases if the person is convicted of drunk driving. A person accused of DUI may be able to negotiate a more favorable sentencing through a plea agreement or may be able to fight the charges if there was some inconsistency in the arrest.

Source: CNN, "Tougher drunk-driving threshold proposed to reduce traffic deaths", Mike Ahlers, May 15, 2013

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