By Othman Gordon

It’s that season again….office parties, end-of-semester celebrations, family get-togethers…many of which will involve alcohol. Drunk driving is a criminal offense with a serious legal consequence. With any offense/charges that involve alcohol, there are a number of legal and practical issues.
Do you know the legal limits that separate impaired from legally drunk? Can you tell the difference between being impaired and legally drunk? Do you know what driving behaviors alert law enforcement to the possibility that you have over-consumed? Other legal “fights” involve the blood alcohol level--BAC. What is a BAC? Simply put, it is the concentration of alcohol in the blood and is measured by a ratio of percentage alcohol to volume of blood.
For a woman between 120-160 pounds you can go from impaired to legally drunk before you have finished your third drink. For the average grown man, it is 4-5 drinks. That’s a measured in 12-oz bottles of beer, 5-oz glasses of wine, and shots of hard liquor. The amount of alcohol versus body weight is not the only factor. Are you rested or tired? Healthy or under the weather? On medication? Have you eaten? Are you well hydrated? How much have you had in what time frame? All factors that govern your body’s response to the alcohol consumed and determine your blood alcohol level.
Law enforcement, outside of an established check point, will be looking for drivers having issues with staying in their lanes. They will also be observing drivers who cannot maintain a steady speed in relation to the rest of traffic, and those who are constantly hitting the brakes when not really warranted. Drivers who don’t seem to be aware of what is happening around them also raise suspicion and those who show poor driving judgment, i.e., braking too soon, not braking soon enough and repeatedly riding up close to the bumper of the car in front of them, as well as turning too wide or too tightly.
Next month, we will continue to help our clients and readers know their legal rights. The above article is general in nature and should not be relied upon for specific legal advice. Every legal situation is different.

Gordon T. Nicol, Attorney at Law
Your Jacksonville Lawyer, P.A.
7545 Centurion Parkway, Suite 108
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Ph: (904) 384-4911
E-mail : helpdesk@yourjacksonvillelawyer.com

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