Understanding BAC: Legal Limits and DUI Defense in Key West

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Do you think about the amount of alcohol in your cup when having a drink? Most people don’t. Whether you like to indulge in a glass of wine or crack open a cold beer, drinking increases your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

As your BAC increases, your ability to drive safely decreases. In turn, the risk of accidents and your ability to get arrested for driving under the influence increases.

The Law Offices of Richard Wunch is committed to providing defense to all of Monroe County. Read on for a comprehensive guide to blood alcohol levels, the consequences of driving under the influence, and how The Law Offices of Richard Wunsch can assist. 

Determining BAC

Whenever you drink alcohol, your body metabolizes it by absorbing it through your stomach and small intestines. Next, the alcohol reaches your bloodstream, where the liver begins to filter it out. When individuals drink faster than the liver can expel it, the alcohol accumulates in the bloodstream.

A chemical test is used to determine how much alcohol a person has in their system, also known as your blood alcohol level. Your blood alcohol level can range from 0 percent (no alcohol) to .4 percent (potentially fatal).

Factors that Affect BAC

Many factors can impact a person’s BAC. Some common characteristics include:

  • Being Male or Female: a woman’s body has less water and more fatty tissue than men. As a result, BAC is more concentrated. BAC is also more likely to be higher during a woman’s cycle.
  • Metabolic rate: an individual’s metabolic rate can impact BAC. Diet, digestion, hormonal cycle, and emotional state affect metabolic rate.
  • Amount of body fat: body fat doesn’t absorb alcohol, causing alcohol to be more concentrated in individuals with a higher percentage of body fat.
  • Drinking on an empty stomach: having food in your system slows the rate at which alcohol passes the bloodstream.
  • Drinking quickly: it takes one hour to metabolize a standard drink. Drinking too quickly means the body will take longer to metabolize.
  • Percentage of alcohol: the higher the rate, the higher the BAC will be.

BAC Legal Limitations in Florida

In Florida, it is illegal to drive with a .08% BAC or higher if you are 21 years of age or older. For individuals under 21 years of age, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .02% or higher with Florida’s zero-tolerance policy.

Testing Inaccuracy as a Defense

Have you been charged with a DUI? One essential area of defense for a Florida DUI defense attorney is to challenge the accuracy of BAC tests. The BAC test is one of the main pieces of information used to determine a DUI charge. However, many factors can impact the test’s reliability. This includes:

  • Calibration issues
  • Improper administration of tests
  • Medical conditions


An experienced attorney will investigate these issues and present evidence to challenge the accuracy of the BAC measurement.

What are the Potential Punishments for DUI?

Florida drivers charged with a DUI can face strict penalties if convicted. Potential punishments for DUI include:

  • Heavy fines
  • Jail time
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Community service
  • Monthly reporting
  • Breath alcohol ignition device installed in vehicle

The Importance of Legal Representation

If you’re facing a DUI charge, seeking legal representation as soon as possible is essential. A DUI defense attorney is invaluable support through every stage of the DUI case process. 

An experienced attorney will thoroughly examine the case against you, challenge the validity of BAC test results, negotiate on your behalf, and ultimately help you build the most robust case in your favor.

Learn About Legal Limits and DUI Defense Strategies with The Law Offices of Richard Wunsch

The Law Office of Richard Wunsch is your Key West Criminal defense attorney. We offer a unique approach to solving our client’s criminal issues. If you’re facing a DUI charge, you need an experienced attorney who will look at your case individually and use the most robust defense strategy to help you beat your case.

No matter the situation, we go above and beyond for our clients. If you need assistance with a DUI charge in Monroe County, contact us for a free consultation.

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