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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Search Term Q&A: Guns and Alcohol in Florida Comment
    Gregory Morris, 1/8/09 2:28:43 pm
    Question: "florida gun use under the influence"

    Answer: Usual caveat - IANAL. FL Statutes 790.151 is very clear: You may not discharge a firearm, or even have a firearm loaded and in your hand, while under the influence of alcohol or chemical (controlled or otherwise.)

    "Under the influence", in the case of this law means being "affected to the extent that [your] normal faculties are impaired". There are other statutes and case law regarding what that means, but you can reasonably expect to be held to at least as high of a standard as someone operating a motor vehicle under the influence, possibly higher.

    Violation of this statute is a misdemeanor (60 days in jail, $500 fine.) However, if you are under the influence of a controlled substance, you are likely also in violation of federal law regarding possession of a firearm while being a user of controlled substances.

    The law explicitly provides an exemption for lawful self defense. However, rest assured that if there is a question about whether or not your use of force was justified, you will not get the benefit of the doubt if you are under the influence.

    It is legal in Florida to have a drink while you are legally carrying a concealed weapon, so long as your normal facilities are not impaired. However it is illegal to sit in "any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose" (per 790.06.)

    Disregarding the letter of the law for a moment, common sense dictates that alcohol and guns simply do not mix. If you are going to drink, leave your gun at home locked in your safe.

    Update:
    Errr. Yeah, no booze and guns.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

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