DUI Under the Legal Limit

DUI Under the Legal Limit
“Over the limit, under arrest”—although it’s a common expression when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI) and blood alcohol content (BAC), in some states, you can be charged with DUI even if you do not have an illegal amount of alcohol in your system. As a result, there’s a more appropriate saying for these areas when it comes to DUI—“under the legal limit or over the limit, either way, you’re under arrest.”

While it is against the law to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher in the United States, you can still be charged with DUI if your BAC is within this limit, but you show signs of intoxication. For example, if you are pulled over for driving erratically and the officer sees something during the traffic stop that indicates you may be under the influence of alcohol, even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you could still be arrested for a “less safe” DUI offense.

In other states, drivers who are under the legal drinking age (21) and those who operate a commercial vehicle must abide by much lower BAC limitations—typically between 0.02% and 0.04%, respectively. Depending on whether your state has “zero tolerance laws” or not, it may even be illegal for these drivers to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system at all.

Although the penalties for drinking and driving can vary a bit according to state law, most areas have very strict sentencing guidelines that include fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Some states also enforce harsher penalties on drivers who have a prior history of DUI or were involved in a serious auto accident.

The good news is that, regardless of where you were charged, the state must prove that you are guilty of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to do this, the prosecution must submit evidence that shows you did indeed commit the offense in question. Typically, this is done through the use of the arresting officer’s testimony, field sobriety test results, and breathalyzer or other chemical test results.

If you were recently arrested for any type of drunk driving offense, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced defense attorney. In many cases, having a strong defense strategy can be the difference between an acquittal and a conviction.

To learn more about the specific DUI laws in your state, locate a law firm that specializes in drunk driving defense today.

States and Cities:
AK Alaska, Anchorage LA Louisiana, New Orleans OH Ohio, Cincinnati
AL Alabama, Montgomery MA Massachusetts, Boston OK Oklahoma, Tulsa
AR Arkansas, Little Rock MD Maryland, Baltimore OR Oregon, Portland
AZ Arizona, Phoenix ME Maine, Portland PA Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
CA California, Los Angeles MI Michigan, Detroit RI Rhode Island, Providence
CO Colorado, Denver MN Minnesota, Duluth SC South Carolina, Charleston
CT Connecticut, Hartford MO Missouri, Branson SD South Dakota, Sioux Falls
DE Delaware, Wilmington MS Mississippi, Jackson TN Tennessee, Nashville
FL Florida, Orlando MT Montana, Bozeman TX Texas, Houston
GA Georgia, Atlanta NC North Carolina, Charoltte UT Utah, Salt Lake City
HI Hawaii, Honolulu ND North Dakota, Fargo VT Vermont, Burlington
IA Iowa, Des Moines NE Nebraska, Omaha VA Virginia, Richmond
ID Idaho, Boise NH New Hampshire, Portsmouth WA Washington, Seattle
IL Illinois, Chicago NJ New Jersey, Newark WI Wisconsin, Milwaukee
IN Indiana, Indianapolis NM New Mexico, Albuquerque WV West Virginia, Charleston
KS Kansas, Kansas City NV Nevada, Las Vegas WY Wyoming, Cheyenne
KY Kentucky, Lexington NY New York, New York DC Washington DC