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Understanding Legal BAC Limits in Florida: A Guide

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Dui

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Florida, and understanding the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limits is crucial for all drivers. At Brunvand Wise, P.A., a premier criminal defense attorney firm in Tampa, Florida, we aim to provide clear and concise information to help you stay informed and safe on the road. This article will break down the legal BAC limits in Florida and explain how they vary for different types of drivers.

What is BAC?

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. It is expressed as a percentage. For example, a BAC of 0.08% means that there are 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. BAC levels can be influenced by various factors, including the amount of alcohol consumed, the rate of consumption, body weight, and metabolism.

Legal BAC Limits in Florida

Florida has strict BAC limits to ensure road safety. These limits vary depending on the driver’s age, occupation, and the type of vehicle being operated.

1. Drivers Over 21 Years Old:
– The legal BAC limit for drivers aged 21 and older is 0.08%. Exceeding this limit can result in a DUI charge, which carries severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, and possible jail time.

2. Commercial Drivers:
– For commercial drivers, such as truck drivers, the legal BAC limit is lower, set at 0.04%. Given the increased responsibility and potential danger posed by large commercial vehicles, Florida law imposes stricter regulations on these drivers.

3. Drivers Under 21 Years Old:
– Florida has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. The legal BAC limit for these drivers is 0.02%. Even a small amount of alcohol can result in a DUI charge for underage drivers.

Penalties for Exceeding BAC Limits

The penalties for DUI in Florida are severe and can have long-lasting consequences. The specifics of the penalties can vary depending on the BAC level and whether it is a first-time or repeat offense.

First Offense:
– A first-time DUI offense with a BAC of 0.08% or higher can result in fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, license suspension for up to one year, up to six months in jail, and mandatory DUI education programs.

Second Offense:
– A second DUI offense can lead to fines between $1,000 and $2,000, license suspension for up to five years, up to nine months in jail, and installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

Third and Subsequent Offenses:
– Multiple DUI offenses result in even harsher penalties, including substantial fines, lengthy jail sentences, long-term license suspension, and the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.

Aggravating Factors

Certain factors can enhance the severity of DUI penalties, such as having a BAC significantly above the legal limit, causing an accident, having a minor in the vehicle, or refusing to submit to a BAC test. In these cases, penalties can include longer jail sentences, higher fines, and extended license suspensions.

How Brunvand Wise, P.A. Can Help

If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in Tampa, Florida, it’s essential to seek experienced legal representation. At Brunvand Wise, P.A., our team of skilled criminal defense attorneys is dedicated to providing the best possible defense for our clients. We understand the complexities of DUI cases and are committed to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome.

Our firm offers comprehensive legal services, including:
– Thorough investigation of your case
– Challenging the validity of BAC tests
– Negotiating reduced charges or alternative sentencing
– Representing you in court with a robust defense strategy


Understanding Florida’s legal BAC limits and the severe consequences of DUI charges is crucial for all drivers. If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, don’t navigate the legal system alone. Contact Brunvand Wise, P.A. in Tampa, Florida, for expert legal assistance and ensure your rights are protected.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit our website or call our office today. Let our experienced team help you through this challenging time.


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