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You can still get a DUI under the legal limit

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the legal limit is a magic level that can protect you from DUI charges. For instance, a police officer may pull you over and you may blow a 0.07% on a breath test. You know that the legal limit is 0.08%, so you think that this is going to get you out of the charges.

But the reality is that impairment is prohibited, whether or not you break the legal limit. If the officer can still show impairment, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) isn’t as important and you could still get a DUI charge.

Other evidence of impairment

After all, officers may bring other evidence to court. Maybe you took field sobriety tests and failed two out of three of them. Perhaps the officer has you on camera making significant driving mistakes, like running a stop sign or driving without your headlights on. Or perhaps you were involved in an accident that you’re accused of causing, and the officer believes that your impairment is the reason for the crash. If they can establish that impairment, even when your BAC is under the legal limit, you may still face charges.

The passage of time argument

One other thing to keep in mind is that officers will sometimes argue that time went by between when you were driving your vehicle and when you actually took the breath test. Your BAC may have fallen in that time. If you blew a 0.07%, but it was an hour after you were driving, for instance, the officer may argue that you were well over the legal limit when you were still behind the wheel.

Either way, you could find yourself facing serious charges, so make sure you understand all of your defense options.