If you come to Florida as a tourist, you could be in deep trouble if you drink and drive. Around 40% of all traffic fatalities in the United States are a result of drunk driving, which is why the penalties are so significant. Every year, in fact, around 1.8 million people are arrested for drinking and driving.
Florida, like most other states, has a legal blood alcohol limit of .08% for drivers. That works out to 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 ml of breath or 80 micrograms per 100 ml of blood — although it’s important to remember that you can still be charged with drunk driving even when your blood alcohol content is under that amount.
If you are driving while intoxicated in Florida, or if you appear to be, you’ll be asked to take field sobriety tests as well as a breath test. While you can refuse a field sobriety test, you should understand that refusing the breath test means that you’ll immediately lose your license. You may also be imprisoned, depending on the circumstances leading up to your arrest, such as if a crash was caused or if anyone was hurt.
If this was your first offense, you may not end up facing jail time, but you could face harsh fines and penalties, as well as increased insurance cost and social stigma, which is something to consider when deciding to reach out to your defense attorney.
As a tourist in Florida, it is smartest to avoid driving while intoxicated. There are many great methods of public transportation, and you also have the option to call taxis or to use ride-sharing services. Many restaurants and stores are within walking distance, too, so if you plan to drink, walk there — and walk home or get a ride.