DUI is a major crime in many countries but the prosecutions or the legal limits vary in different nations. What is regarded as a felony is some countries could face a fine. Having a DUI on your record could also affect your chances of travelling abroad. The law measures your BAC limit before prosecuting you. Random checks may happen from time to time to keep a check on possible DUI cases. BAC stands for Blood alcohol content/ Blood alcohol concentration/ Blood alcohol level or even Blood ethanol concentration which is the most commonly used metric for alcohol intoxication for medical and/or legal purposes.
What is BAC?
Blood alcohol content is usually expressed as a percentage of ethanol in the blood in units of mass of alcohol per volume of blood or mass of alcohol per mass of blood, depending on the country.
As an example, if there is a BAC measurement of 0.1 (or 0.1%), it means that there s 0.10 g of alcohol for every dL of blood in the body.
BAC legal limits in North America
It varies from 0.05 – 0.08% and it is a legal offense to drive with a BAC excess of 0.08%. If you refuse to provide a breath sample to an officer when asked, it is an offense and you can be convicted as well as slapped with a mandatory fine of $50. Having a DUI on record is a serious offense. If it is your first conviction, you could face up to a one year driving prohibition as well as a $1000 fine. If there are damaged incurred in the case, you could face possible jail time as well as have a longer driving prohibition imposed. A second offense will have your license suspended for three years as well as jail time.
A third offense will have you spend a minimum of 120 days in jail, a driving prohibition of three years at a minimum and depending upon your province, you may receive a 10 years license suspension. A fourth offense will have you losing your license for life. However, you must keep in mind that your insurance premiums will triple which will man you will be paying in excess of $20,000 yearly – this itself renders most people unable to drive. If your negligence caused any damages because of your DUI, then you could face possible damage lawsuits that could cost you your entire life savings which easily run up hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Any foreigner who has been convicted of a DUI offense in the past ten years will be refused entry into the country.
BAC legal limit: 0.08%
The law requires the timing of the chemical test to be done within two hours from the time the driver was stopped and a proof of intoxication is required. However, there are legalities that differentiate between a person who is in physical control of the motor vehicle and a person who is actually driving. The BAC limit differs from state to state which can go to 0.05% and there is also a zero tolerance law – if anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 is found with BAC limits of even 0.01% or higher, they could be suspended. Commercial drivers have a lower limit which is set at 0.04% and pilots who have imbibed alcohol or any drug 8 hours prior to flight may not be permitted to fly.
- Bahamas: 0.08%
- Jamaica: 0.035%
- Cuba: 0 for young, professional and commercial drivers, 0.05% for the balance
- Dominican Republic: 0.03%