Langley, Nagel, Crawford & Modica

Do not rely on personal breathalyzers this holiday season

The Florida Highway Patrol is one of thousands of law enforcement agencies that steps up driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement in December. As with every holiday, patrol officers will be out in force looking for drunk and drugged drivers.

Part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, the FHP began stepped-up enforcement on December 12 and will continue looking for drunk drivers through the new year.

Will a personal breathalyzer help?

The reason for the stepped-up enforcement is because more people drink around the holidays. From office parties to family dinners, celebrations often involve alcohol.

While most people do not set out to drink and drive, sometimes the line between having a drink or two and going over the legal limit can be hard to define. Increasingly popular for this reason, personal breathalyzers claim to help people know when they are over the limit, which is a .08 BAC.

However, this is an unreliable means of determining the level of intoxication. There are several reasons for this:

  • Breathalyzers can be inaccurate. Even police-issued breathalyzers can have issues. All breathalyzers must be routinely recalibrated to avoid inaccuracies. This is why all criminal DUI cases use blood test results, rather than breath test results. It is not safe to rely on personal breathalyzers or those in bars.
  • Alcohol can take time to enter your system. Your BAC may increase between the time you take the breath test and when you get behind the wheel.
  • It can encourage drinking to the limit. Rather than simply having one or two drinks, relying on a personal breathalyzer may tempt you to have one more drink if you are currently below the limit. This can result in you unintentionally going over the limit. It is best to simply drink in moderation or get home some other way.

DUI defense

The penalties for a DUI are severe in Florida. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is important to protect your rights and know all of the options available to you to minimize or erase the penalties you face. We hope you have a safe and stress-free holidays. If you do get into trouble, we are here to help.

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Langley, Nagel, Crawford & Modica
Chartered Attorneys At Law

1201 W. Hwy. 50
Suite A
Clermont, FL 34711

Phone: 352-432-1435
Fax: 352-394-7298
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