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Woman under legal limit charged with DUI

Most people in Florida have heard that the laws identify a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent to be the threshold at which a person may be considered legally intoxicated. Operating a motor vehicle with a BAC at or above 0.08 percent may lead to a person being arrested and charged with a driving under the influence offense. However, it is important for drivers to know that law enforcement officers may be able to arrest them even if their breath test returns a BAC lower than 0.08 percent.

This is precisely what happened to one woman recently in Indian Rocks Beach. She is today facing criminal charges for drunk driving even though her breath test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.076 percent. Reports indicate that the condition and appearance of her eyes may have been used by officers to suggest that she was impaired. Her eyes are said to have been watering, red and have a glassy appearance.

The woman does not deny that her eyes looked as described but does deny that it was due to alcohol. Instead she points out that implants recently put into her eyes during a cataract surgery are the cause of her eye appearance, not the consumption of alcohol. She was asked to perform field sobriety tests which officers said she failed but there are known accuracy issues with these tests in certain situations.

Drivers in Florida who have been charged with drunk driving and have low BACs might find talking with an attorney useful in planning their defense.

Source: Miami Herald, "Dead politician's wife hit with DUI. She blames her glassy eyes on cataract surgery," January 8, 2018

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