BAC Limits in Florida 2023: How Much Can You Drink and Drive?

Drink and drive laws in Florida

Florida’s legal BAC or blood alcohol content is 0.08% (80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood). Depending on a person’s gender, weight, and other characteristics, it takes one to two standard-size alcoholic drinks to obtain the 0.08% restriction.

Going beyond the stated BAC limit is illegal and considered driving under the influence. The Florida government has implemented DUI laws and restrictions to prevent drunk driving in the state.

It is essential to understand that this article aims to inform readers about Florida’s DUI laws. This page does not seek to encourage drunk driving in any state or locality.

Statistics from 2020 show that there were 746 documented fatalities in Florida involving impaired. There was a decrease in the numbers from 2019.

Nonetheless, the state government of Florida is not complacent and still spreads awareness about drunk driving throughout the state.

Before driving, it’s critical to know Florida’s legal BAC level. Alternatively, consider using a designated driver or hailing a cab if you must drive after drinking.

Check Florida’s official website to remain up to date on the rules and legislation about DUI driving in the state.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Florida

Owing to the large number of accidents caused by drunk drivers in Florida, the state has harsh sanctions for anyone found driving a vehicle while impaired with alcohol or drugs. These regulations were implemented to lessen the injuries and fatalities brought on by drunk driving or DUI.

A person may be charged with a DUI in Florida if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or greater.

To calculate how much alcohol you can consume before driving a car, use a BAC calculator or chart. You should be aware that these tools might not be appropriate for everyone because each person’s reaction to alcohol differs.

The most accurate method for calculating your BAC is to use a certified alcohol breathalyzer.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Florida

There may be administrative and judicial sanctions if you are found guilty of DUI in Florida.

You can read below about Florida’s DUI laws and the penalties for Drunk driving.


First Conviction

  • A fine of not less than $500 but not more than $1,000
  • A fine of $1,000 to $2,000 if the BAC level is 0.15% and higher or there is a minor in the vehicle during the violation

Second Conviction

  • A fine between $1,000 to $2,000
  • A penalty from $2,000 to $4,000 if the BAC level is 0.15% or higher or if a minor is in the car during the arrest

Third Conviction

  • A fine of at least $2,000 but not more than $5,000.
  • A fine of at least $4,000 if your BAC is 0.15% or higher or if a minor is in the car during the violation

Fourth and Subsequent Conviction

  • A fine of at least $2,000
  • If BAC is 0.15% or higher, or if a minor is in the vehicle, a fine of not less than $4,000 must be paid

Jail Time

Depending on the circumstances, sentences can be served in a residential program for drug or alcohol abuse and credited toward the prison sentence.

First Conviction

  • A maximum of six months in jail
  • Imprisonment for no more than nine months if the BAC was 0.15% or greater or if a minor was in the car at the time of the offense.

Second Conviction

  • A maximum of nine months in jail.
  • Jail time for not more than 12 months if BAC was 0.15% or higher or if a minor was in the car.
  • Mandatory detention for at least 10 days if the second conviction occurred within five years of the first one. 

Third Conviction

  • Mandatory jail time of at least 30 days if the third conviction occurs within 10 years of the previous conviction.
  • If the third conviction occurred more than ten years after a prior conviction, the maximum sentence is 12 months in prison.

Fourth and Subsequent Conviction

  • Imprisonment for a maximum of five years or as specified in section 775.084 of the Florida Statutes.

Vehicle Impoundment

  • First Conviction: 10 days
  • Second Conviction: 30 days
  • Third Conviction: 90 days

When Can You Drink and Drive in Florida?

Alcohol has various consequences for individuals. Additionally, the BACs of men and women differ.

Alcohol dehydrogenase, often known as ADH, is more prevalent in men’s bodies than in women’s. These enzymes contribute to men’s rapid alcohol metabolism because their primary role is to assist alcohol absorption. As a result, men digest alcohol faster than women.

For an overview of how much liquor you can legally drink before driving in Florida, refer to the information below. However, the indicated quantity of alcohol may not apply to everyone because of individual differences in the metabolizing of alcohol.

How Many Beer Bottles Can You Drink and Drive in Florida?

Drink beer and drive in Florida

BAC charts use a person’s weight and the amount of alcohol they have ingested to calculate their post-alcohol BAC level. These graphs demonstrate that after consuming alcohol, lighter individuals frequently have higher blood alcohol contents.

An adult man weighing around 72 kg (160 lbs) can have a blood alcohol content of 0.02% after drinking a 12-ounce (350 ml) beer.

However, a lady of the same weight who consumes the same amount of beer may have a BAC level of 0.03%.

Hence, one to two beer bottles are enough to keep a blood alcohol content level below the legal limit in Florida.

How Much Wine Can You Consume and Drive in Florida?

A standard wine glass (142 ml/5 oz) has an alcohol content of 12%. A male who weighs roughly 72 kg (160 lbs) can have a BAC of 0.02% after consuming one glass of wine, similar to the preceding example.

On the contrary, a woman who consumes the same amount of wine and has the same weight can have a BAC of 0.03%.

Therefore, two glasses of wine are all it takes to get to Florida’s legal BAC level.

How Much Whiskey or Vodka Can You Consume and Drive in Florida?

Up to 40% ABV can be found in a 44 ml (1.5 oz) shot of liquor, such as whiskey or vodka. Distilled spirits have a high alcohol content, making it difficult for drivers to consume too much.

A shot or two of distilled spirits like whiskey or vodka can put you within Florida’s legal BAC limit.

Obeying Impaired Driving Laws in Florida

Every driver must understand the risks of drunk driving.

Avoiding driving after consuming alcohol is the safest action. Even if you just had a few drinks, it’s impossible to predict your blood alcohol level or if you can drive.

Since everyone handles alcohol differently, using an alcohol breathalyzer is the only reliable way to determine your BAC level.

There are numerous modes of transportation available you can consider if you’re intoxicated. You can either ask a friend to drive you, get a taxi, or use Uber.

If you cannot avoid driving, be sure your blood alcohol level is within Florida’s legal BAC limit by using a certified alcohol breathalyzer.

It’s also best to familiarize yourself with Florida’s DUI driving laws by visiting the state’s official website.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.