When you have been charged with driving under the influence, the prosecution will build its case on exactly how impaired you were at the time the police officer stopped you. Although the officer will probably ask you to complete a field sobriety test – balancing on one foot or touching your nose repeatedly – this test is objective, the results are based on the officer’s opinion. A more critical factor is your blood alcohol content or BAC, measured by a breathalyzer. Florida law considers you legally impaired when your BAC reaches .08 percent, but your driving skills may be impacted even below this level.

.01 to .029 Percent

A 180-lb. man can reach this level within 15 minutes of having one to two drinks. A 140-lb. woman may reach it after only one drink. You will feel relaxed, but your driving skills will probably not be dangerously affected. Your judgment may be off some.

.03 to .059 Percent

At this level, you are probably feeling pretty good and it will begin to show in your driving skills. The alcohol you drank will affect your small muscle control, but more importantly, you will possibly take risks you would not take even consider sober – such as getting behind the wheel of a car.

.06 to .09 Percent

At a BAC of .06 to .09, you are impaired. Your reaction time is well off, and you will probably have trouble balancing and speaking. The alcohol will begin to affect your speech patterns. You probably will not believe you are as intoxicated as you really are.

.10 to .19 Percent

At this level, you may vomit and appear disoriented. Gross motor impairment occurs, your vision becomes blurred and walking may become extremely difficult, at least in a straight line. If you take the wheel, your odds of being involved in a vehicular accident are 25 times greater than if you had not been drinking.

No matter what your BAC was at the time you were tested, you need professional and experienced help to mitigate the damage to your life, your finances and your ability to drive in the future. The attorneys at Katz & Phillips can make a difference. Your BAC might have been in a gray area – just under or just over .08 percent. If so, we will work hard to get the charges against you dismissed. If your BAC was .15 or higher, you can be facing an enhanced, more severe penalty. You need an experienced DUI defense attorney to try to prevent that from happening to you. The attorneys at Katz & Phillips will do whatever is necessary to defend you against these charges.