DR. DELAY - Drain a few drinks? Drop the car keys
St. Petersberg Times
By Lorrie Lykinsask
Published August 27, 2006
The St. Pete Beach Police Department plans to conduct a sobriety checkpoint Labor Day weekend, starting at midnight Sept. 2.
Motorists approaching the checkpoint, which will be near County Park, 4700 Gulf Blvd., will see informational signs advising of the checkpoint, where police will be checking driver's licenses and watching for signs of impairment.
Here's a quick refresher on Florida DUI laws: A blood alcohol content of 0.08 is the point at which impairment is presumed. It doesn't take many drinks to reach that, depending on your weight. The legal advice Web site legalmatch.com provides these guidelines as a way to approximate whether you are approaching the impairment threshold:
- If you are about 100 pounds, you can generally only have about one drink before being over 0.08. A person closer to 160 pounds can have about three drinks and still be below the threshold for impairment.
- A good rule of thumb to use is that no matter what your weight is, if you have three drinks in rapid succession you are likely over the 0.08 blood-alcohol level.
- Your blood alcohol level depends on how much time you have spent drinking. If you have spaced your drinks out over a few hours, your level will be lower. It generally takes about 40 minutes for your blood alcohol level to decrease by 0.01.
Drivers convicted of driving under the influence for the first time face up to $500 in fines, 50 hours of community service, one year of probation and a minimum license revocation of 180 days.
And if that isn't sobering enough, consider this: Of the 339 traffic fatalities nationwide over the 2004 Labor Day weekend, 50.7 percent were alcohol-related, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's a lot of folks who died because some knucklehead had a few too many and got behind the wheel.