House Bill 299 is a 96 page proposed amendment to Florida DUI Laws. There are numerous proposed changes which will be discussed in future posts, but the subject of today’s post is the proposal that makes it illegal to have a breath or blood concentration of .08 or higher at any time after driving.
According to House Bill 299 a person can be convicted of DUI if, “[t]he person has an alcohol concentration of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath at the time of driving or any time after driving as a result of alcohol consumed before or during driving.”
This proposed change to the law takes away a defense that has been available to driver’s accused of DUI in the past.
At one time, under Florida Law, the state had to prove that the alcohol concentration present at the time of testing was the alcohol concentration at the time of driving. Florida law was amended and the Courts gave the State a rebuttable presumption that the results at the time of testing were the same as the time of driving. This shifted the burden to the defense to bring in expert witnesses to show that the blood alcohol concentration at the time of driving was under the legal limit based on the absorption of alcohol in the human body.
The new law takes this defense away. It makes the presumption that the alcohol concentration at the time of driving was equal to the concentration at the time of testing irrefutable.
In other words, if a person goes to a bar, does a few shots of tequila or other alcoholic beverage and immediately drives the short distance home, prior to the alcohol being absorbed into their system, (at a time they are not under the influence), later on, when tested if they are above the legal limit, they are guilty of DUI and there is no defense based on the fact that at the time of driving they were not impaired.