Legal Limit for Alcohol in Florida

The legal alcohol limit in Florida is 0.08. Understanding the legal limit for alcohol consumption while driving in Florida helps vehicle operators make smart, safe decisions regarding drinking and driving. No one should drive a motor vehicle when they feel impaired by alcohol or any substance. However, it is possible to feel fine and exceed the legal alcohol limit.

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara

Content last updated on: September 26, 2023

You probably know that drinking and driving is wrong and that it costs numerous lives across Florida and the rest of the United States every year. However, sometimes mistakes are made. Perhaps you felt fine when you started the car and the drinks caught up with you on the road. Or the alcohol interfered with a new medication to make you feel more intoxicated than you normally would. Regardless, understanding Florida’s alcohol laws help keep you safe.

If you have been charged with driving over the legal limit for alcohol in Florida, it is important to understand the severity of these charges and whom you can turn to for help. Florida’s DUI laws are particularly strict and come with stiff punishments. An experienced DUI lawyer can answer your questions and offer quality representation in your legal case.

sheriff holding a breath testing device

What is the alcohol legal limit in Florida?

Florida’s legal alcohol limit in Florida is 0.08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood. This limit applies to blood-alcohol levels and breath-alcohol levels. You are above the legal driving limit if your blood-alcohol level is 0.08 or more grams per 100 milliliters of blood. Likewise, if your breath-alcohol level is 0.08 or more grams per 210 liters of breath, you are over Florida’s legal alcohol limit and should not drive or be in control of a vehicle. 

If you have been charged with exceeding the legal limit for alcohol in Florida, a DUI lawyer may be able to offer the help you need.

Florida's Legal Limit History

The legal limit in Florida has not always been the same, nor has its legal age of consumption. Florida’s minimum drinking age was only 18 until 1980 when it was raised to 19. Florida’s age limit remained at 19 for the next five years until it was raised again to 21 in 1985. In 2002, driving in Florida, and the rest of the United States, with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more became illegal.

How many drinks would put you over the legal limit?

When you see red and blue lights blinking behind you after a night out, you may wonder what to expect during a DUI stop. Knowing how many drinks put you over the legal limit is important. Blood alcohol concentration or BAC, is mostly determined by how much alcohol you drink and how fast you drink it. However, it can also be affected by how fast your body absorbs and distributes alcohol and your metabolism.

Per the NIAAA, most adults will reach 0.08 percent blood alcohol content if they consume four or five drinks within two hours. Since men typically have larger bodies than women, the standard five-drink limit within two hours is attributed to men, while a general four-drink limit is attributed to women.

Not every drink is equal where the alcohol content is concerned. Some drinks, such as Long Island Iced Teas, are notorious for having excessive amounts of alcohol. Of course, the size of the pour also contributes to the drink’s potency.

how much alcohol is in a drink

How much alcohol is in a drink?

Understanding how much alcohol is in each type of drink and the standard size of the drink can help ensure you stay within your legal drinking limits. 

You can use the following alcoholic drink information for reference:

Each of these examples represents a standard United States drink serving and includes roughly 0.6 fluid ounces of ethanol. Other important things to note include:

  • Light beer may be light in calories but not in alcohol content.
  • Craft beers often contain a higher alcohol percentage than regular beer and may contain as much as nine percent alcohol or higher.
  • A standard 750-milliliter wine bottle of 12 percent alcohol contains 5 standard American drinks.
  • The same wine bottle with a 14 percent alcohol content contains nearly 6 standard drinks.
  • Many cocktails can far exceed one standard drink.

A good rule to keep in mind is that a drink will cost less than a DUI. Drink and drive responsibly on Florida’s roads.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many beers is 0.08 BAC?

A regular beer that is 12 fluid ounces and contains roughly 5 percent alcohol counts as one drink. Most men can have about five drinks before hitting their legal limit of 0.08 BAC. Most women can consume four of these beers before exceeding the Florida legal limit. 

If you have been charged with a DUI for exceeding the legal BAC in Florida, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help.

How much can you drink and drive in Florida?

You should never drink to excess when driving in Florida. You should never get behind the wheel if you feel tipsy or drunk. Legally, you cannot drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. However, even if you have consumed fewer than the recommended four or five drinks, you should not drive if you feel intoxicated.

What is legally drunk in Florida?

Florida DUI laws consider you drunk when your blood or breath alcohol content exceeds 0.08 percent. If your blood alcohol exceeds this limit, or you feel drunk, you should abstain from driving and find another ride or call a cab. 

If you have already been charged for driving drunk in Florida, some offenses are felonies. A felony lawyer can explain your rights and legal options.

What is 0.08 alcohol level?

The 0.08 alcohol level is the breath and blood alcohol limit Florida law imposes upon its drivers. If the police pull you over and your alcohol limit exceeds 0.08 percent, you will be charged with driving under the influence. Understanding how your body reacts to alcohol helps you make intelligent choices after consuming alcohol.

Contact the Lawyers at O'Mara Law Group

If you have been charged with exceeding the legal BAC in Florida, an experienced DUI lawyer can answer your questions and advise you on your options. The attorneys at O’Mara Law Group understand DUIs in Florida. 

Contact O’Mara Law Group for experienced criminal defense representation.

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