DUI is a one of the most common reasons for arrest in Florida. The laws and penalties regarding DUI are strict in Florida as they are in other states. Many people wonder how breath or blood tests work to determine alcohol in the system and question whether they should submit to these and other sobriety tests. The answer is a complex one. In the state of Florida the law stipulates that you submit to taking a breath or blood test if asked to do so by law enforcement. Failure to submit to these tests could result in separate penalties including the suspension of your driver’s license.


BAC or blood alcohol content is the percentage of alcohol that is in your bloodstream. Those over the age of 21 are considered DUI if they have a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

  • 0.02% – Relaxed, minor loss of judgment impaired multi-functioning, lowered visual tracking.
  • 0.05% – Lowered inhibitions, reduced alertness, some loss of small muscle control, some impairment of judgment.
  • 0.08% – Reduced muscle coordination, impaired judgment and reasoning abilities, inability to focus, memory loss (short-term).
  • 0.10% – Slurred speech, inability to coordinate and think, visual impairments, lowered reaction times, false sense of control.
  • 0.15% – Greatly lowered muscle control, vomiting, loss of balance, substantial impairment (reaction times, processing).

According to these figures you can easily see that driving after the consumption of any alcohol is driving impaired.

Submitting to a Breathalyzer or Blood Test

The decision to submit to a breathalyzer test should be made by you and you alone. There are some things to consider when determining whether to take the test. Think about how many drinks you have consumed and over what period of time.

Some of the considerations include:

  • Amount of alcohol consumed
  • Period of time alcohol is consumed
  • Weight and body mass of the individual

In general, you may be able to calculate your own BAC based on these factors. For example, if you have only consumed one 12 ounce glass of beer over a two hour period it is safe to say that your BAC is under the legal limit. However, keep in mind that even if you pass a breathalyzer test you may still be arrested for DUI if you are driving erratically and exhibiting obvious signs of DUI. Remember that if you have had anything to drink your thinking is impaired and you may feel less drunk than you actually are. If you are quite sure that you are under the legal limit you may want to take the breathalyzer test. On the other hand, if you feel that you are over the legal limit you may want to refuse the test, no matter the consequences.

Defending DUI

No matter what the results of your breathalyzer, rest assured that with the help of an experienced DUI attorney you can fight the charges. Your attorney will review the circumstances around your arrest as well as how the breathalyzer test was given. There are also some important things your attorney will review about the way the results of your breath test were analyzed. Sobriety tests are not foolproof – in fact, they are often found to be incorrect. This factor, along with others in your case, will help your attorney defend you against the serious DUI charges.

  • Category: DUI