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Home » Drunk Driving » Examining the exceptions to the .08 BAC limit

Examining the exceptions to the .08 BAC limit

Most in Naples likely associate one number with drunk driving: .08. That is the blood-alcohol concentration limit at which a driver is considered to be legally impaired. Exactly how much alcohol must one consume to reach that point? Due to differences in body composition and metabolism rates, it is impossible to come up with a standard. For some, it may take a couple of drinks; for others, only a few ounces. Yet trying to understand how much one can drink before he or she cannot legally drive may end up being flawed logic as the application of the .08 standard is not universal. 

For example, according to Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles, DUI regulations are much more strict for drivers under the age of 21. For such drivers, the legal BAC limit is actually lowered to .02. A driver in this age category will have his or her license suspended for 6 months for his or her first DUI conviction, and another full year if he or she is convicted of any subsequent DUI offenses. 

Another deviation from the .08 standard exists for those who drive commercial vehicles. This exception has been established by federal rather than state law. Information shared by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration shows that federal guidelines prohibit those who have a commercial drivers’ license from driving with a BAC limit of .04 (regardless of whether they are driving their commercial vehicles or not). Florida honors this standard and may subject such drivers to criminal penalties if their BAC is in excess of this amount. On top of whatever criminal consequences a commercial driver may face for driving while intoxicated, he or she could see hi or CDL suspended for up to one year, or even revoked for life if he or she has a prior DUI conviction. 

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