Each state has different terms for drunk driving. Every one of them indicates a person’s inability to be safe behind the wheel because of a substance like alcohol or drugs. DUBAL, or Florida’s other DUI designation, is a relatively recent addition to those acronyms, meaning “Driving with an Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level.” The difference between the two charges actually comes down to the person who was stopped under suspicion of drunk driving, and their compliance with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing.
A Florida DUBAL is the charge you get for being intoxicated, but not refusing BAC testing.
The distinction between the two comes down to implied consent in the state. Implied consent means that when you got your license to drive, you agreed to BAC testing if you were pulled over or when you drive through a sobriety checkpoint. If you continue to agree to the testing when you are asked to blow into a police breathalyzer and your reading is at or above .08 percent BAC, you’ll be charged with a DUBAL and face the basic consequences of a DUI.
However, if you refuse the BAC testing, you will then be charged with a DUI and also face implied consent violation consequences. The law enforcement officer will immediately suspend your license, whether or not your BAC is above the legal limit, and you’ll probably be arrested. You’ll then have 10 days to contest the suspension, after which your will no longer be able to legally drive. Plus, you will have the criminal DUI penalties ahead of you, including fines, court costs and a possible car breathalyzer (ignition interlock) requirement.
If you’ve been drinking, your only way out of a DUI or DUBAL is to find a safe way to get home. Otherwise, you are not only putting lives in danger on the roads, but you are driving straight into legal and administrative consequences that are unnecessary.