It’s illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. It also shouldn’t take reading a blog post for you to know that. While the law and enforcement around DUIs has changed slightly over the years, the general concept has not.

In the state of Florida, it’s illegal to be behind the wheel if you are above a .08% blood alcohol level. I think that’s pretty clear and concise, don’t you? If you’ve been drinking, stay off the roads. It’s amazing the hoops people will try to jump through to rationalize something set in stone.

DUI Loophole? I Don’t Think So

Meet Earle Stevens, 69, of Vero Beach, Florida. He may have tried to fight the law, but it looks like the law will win. Back in June, Stevens was pulled over by deputies by the Indian River County Sheriff’s office after they received a call about an erratic driver. According to the sheriff’s office, Stevens was reported after repeatedly rear-ending a car while waiting in line at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Vero.

It sounds to me like Mr. Stevens might have been under the influence and behind the wheel while he waited for his fast food feast. After deputies pulled him over, some interesting facts were established.

Stevens said he’d never had a valid driver’s license in the state of Florida. He failed multiple field sobriety tests, and didn’t get great marks on the Breathalyzer either. While it’s illegal to be above .08, Stevens clocked in at .0153. Almost double the legal limit.

Don’t worry though, he was prepared for this. When speaking with Indian River deputies, Stevens told them that he was not drinking while the car was moving. He only drank while the car was stopped at traffic signals.

Don’t Drink and Drive

While the poorly thought out loophole makes for an amusing story, driving while drunk isn’t a joke. According to the CDC, 10,497 people lost their lives due to alcohol-impaired driving in 2016. That’s 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the country.

Depending on your size, just having 1 or 2 drinks could be enough to put you over the legal limit. With public transport and ride-sharing platforms like Uber now, there is no excuse to drive after drinking. If you don’t have transport worked out in advance, then you shouldn’t be drinking at all.

DUI Consequences

When it comes to a DUI, there are no second chances. Even a single conviction can be punished by jail time and serious fines. In Florida, a first time offense brings these potential consequences:

  • Fines ranging from $500 to $2,000
  • Jail time ranging from six months to five years
  • Community service for at minimum 50 hours
  • License suspended for at least 180 days
  • Vehicle impoundment

This isn’t a comprehensive list of possible punishments. Law enforcement takes driving under the influence very seriously. You risk losing your life, or the lives of others, whenever you break the law. There are no loopholes when it comes to driving under the influence. Stay off the roads while drinking, or law enforcement will make sure you regret it.

Contact Brooks Law Group

There were almost 44,000 DUI violation tickets issued in Florida last year. Driving under the influence is a real problem with real consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of others on the road, call Brooks Law Group today at 1-800-LAW-3030 for a free consultation. You don’t owe us anything unless we recover money for your case. At Brooks Law Group, we hold our attorneys and staff to the highest standard, because you deserve the best representation possible. Don’t settle for less. Call us or submit a free case evaluation form on our website so we can start helping you today.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.