When talking about DUI charges, one of the main topics is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). The legal limit in Florida is 0.08%. This doesn’t mean you can never get a DUI at a lower percentage, but just that the court assumes you’re intoxicated at that point. Intoxication is the real issue.
But what if you just have one beer? Maybe you grabbed a burger and a beer after work, ate with a friend, and then started driving home. If the police pull you over, is that enough to trigger an arrest?
It can be if you’re underage. A single beer typically leads to a BAC of around 0.025%. As you can see, that’s much lower than the 0.08% limit. Many people do not feel drunk after one drink, and having a single drink — especially with a meal — is common before driving.
If you’re underage, though, the legal limit is not 0.08%. It is 0.02%. This means that having one beer can put you over the legal limit. You can then get DUI charges at 18, 19 or 20 years old — or younger, of course — even though you may not be intoxicated at all. You still broke the law and violated that limit.
People don’t always understand how this works, and it can cause some collateral damage. A college student who doesn’t really drink but wants to fit in at a party may have a single drink, for instance, and then decide it’s safe to drive home. While it’s good that they didn’t drink to excess, they have to understand that even a single beer can have big consequences. These consequences can change the course of their life.
If you’re facing underage DUI charges or you are the parent of someone who is, think about what the future holds. Think about the impact those charges may have on that future. Then take the time to look into all of the legal options at your disposal. Don’t let one drink at an inopportune time undo everything you have been working for.