Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the measure used in all 50 states to determine if a person is legally intoxicated. If they meet or exceed that BAC limit, they face serious consequences for drunk driving, at least in most cases. The legal limit in almost all states is .08 percent BAC, except for one state. Utah recently voted to lower its BAC limit for drunk driving to the “buzzed” measurement, hoping to eradicate even more drunk drivers off the road. Florida DUI law may not be far behind in dropping the BAC for a criminal charge.
Buzzed driving is drunk driving, as the saying goes. Many states actually have criminal charges for BAC limits below the typical .08 threshold. Those charges tend to carry a little less weight (and therefore, fewer consequences), but they can all add up to a total number of impaired driving incidents. With enough of those, a person can and will face much more strict penalties, including jail time or extended ignition interlock requirements.
If Florida DUI law follows Utah’s lead, then more people will face drunk driving charges. That could mean that there are fewer Florida DUI incidents overall, especially since the state requires interlocks for many first-time offenses and for all second or subsequent offenses. If the Florida DUI laws also increased the interlock requirements for all offenders, without a doubt, there would be fewer drunk drivers on the road entirely.
We’ll wait and see what happens, hoping for the best. By lowering the BAC, Florida DUI law gets stronger, and more people will hopefully make better choices. Considering the danger of a buzzed driver is not much less than that of drunk driver at the current legal BAC limit, it makes sense to evaluate where the laws can best serve the people, and ensure that there are better preventative solutions in the future.