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DUI with BAL over .15 in Florida

Many people assume that if they blow over the legal limit of .08 that they will not be able to win their DUI case or receive a reduction in the charges to reckless driving. Individuals with a high blow over 0.15 are even more concerned that their case might be impossible to win.

Click here to read more about our Recent Case Results in DUI Cases.

Anyone charged with the per se version of DUI (that alleges an unlawful breach alcohol level) should be aware that the breath test instrument used in Florida, the Intoxilyzer 8000, is not always accurate or reliable.

We created this website to give you some general information but it is no substitute for speaking directly with a criminal defense attorney for advice about what you need to do now to protect yourself against this serious accusation.

Attorney for the DUI with a BAC over .15 in Tampa, FL

If you have been arrested for a DUI with a breath or blood test result showing an alcohol content reading over .15, then contact a criminal defense lawyer at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss ways to fight this serious type of DUI case.

Florida DUI laws provide for enhanced penalties that can be imposed for of the readings show that the alcohol concentration was over .15.

Our attorneys focus on defending individuals charged with drunk driving in Tampa and Plant City for Hillsborough County, Florida. We also have a second office in New Port Richey across from the West Pasco Judicial Center.

Call 813-250-0500.

Enhanced Penalties for a High DUI Breath Test Reading

Numerous enhanced penalties exist in those DUI cases in which the breath or blood alcohol content test shows a reading of .15 or higher.

In certain cases, these enhanced penalties can be avoided if the prosecutor agrees and the Court signs an order reflecting the stipulation between the prosecutor and the defense attorney that the breath or blood alcohol content was less than .15 notwithstanding the test results in the case.

Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 316.193, the Court must impose the following enhanced penalties if the breath test was .15 or over:


  • Second DUI Conviction - up to 12 months in jail, a fine of $2,000 to $4,000, and a special condition of probation that the ignition interlock device is required for at least 24 months.


When One Breath Test Result is Above and One Below 0.15

If there is one reading below .15 reading and one above, the State has failed ot meet the burden of proof required for a convictoin of DUI with .15 reading or higher. See Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles v. Colling, 178 So. 3d 2 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014), review denied, 148 So. 3d 770 (Fla. 2014).

In the Colling case, the court concluded that where there were two readings, one below legal limit and one above, the inference that petitioner was below legal limit was equally plausible, and since the burden was on the Department, it did not meet that burden.

Defenses to the Breath Test DUI Case

Find out more about important defenses that might exist in your case such as:

  • whether the arresting officer failed to watch you during the twenty (20) minute period before you took the breath test;
  • whether the breath test operator and agency inspector were properly certified;
  • whether the particular Intoxilyzer 8000 used in your case was properly maintained and certified; and
  • whether any other explanation other than intoxication can explain the reading.

A Stipulation that the DUI BAC was Below .08

If the prosecutor offers to reduce the DUI, then the criminal defense attorney must prepare the order for the judge's signature. The order is filed in the clerk's office and a certified copy must be delivered to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR). After the order is received by the DHSMV, then the ignition interlock requirement will be deleted.

Sample Form for Stipulations to a DUI BAL Below .15


THIS CAUSE, having come on to be heard before the undersigned on the 10th day of October, 2013, upon the oral Stipulation by the State of Florida, by and through its Assistant State Attorney, and the Defendant, ________, by and through her counsel of record, and the Court having ratified the Stipulation of the parties, it is


  1. Pursuant to the Stipulation of the parties, the Court hereby finds that the Defendant's blood alcohol level at the time of arrest was less than .15%.
  2. Because the Defendant’s blood alcohol level was less than .15% at the time of her arrest, the Court will not impose the requirement that the Defendant install the ignition interlock device on her vehicle or require any enhanced fine.

DONE AND ORDERED in chambers in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, this 10th day of October, 2013.

________________________                ________________________
Attorney for the Defendant                Assistant State Attorney


County Court Judge

Additional Resources

Increased Penalties for High Blood Alcohol Content - Visit the website of the NCSL, a national bipartisan organization providing states support and ideas, to learn more about the increased penalties for high blood alcohol content enacted in each state for a high BAC. In fact, the article provides an exhaustive list of enhanced penalties that apply in each state in the United States and the District of Columbia.

Choosing an Attorney for a DUI BAC over .15 in Tampa, FL

If you have been arrest for DUI with a breath or blood alcohol level over .15, it is particularly important to talk with an attorney experience in fighting the breath test case.

Click here to read our article choosing an attorney and how to fight the DUI Breath Test Case. Contact an experienced DUI lawyer with the Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, to discuss the particular facts of your case.

Call 813-250-0500 for a free consultation today.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, March 15, 2019.