Can I Be Charged With a DUI With a BAC of Less Than .08%?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 04, 2015 | 0 Comments

Some may be surprised to learn that you can be charged with a DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of less than the legal limit of .08%. This is often referred to as “buzzed driving.” There has been a lot of effort in the media to increase awareness about buzzed driving, and that it doesn't take a .08% BAC to impair someone. Some instances where a DUI is possible at a lower blood alcohol include:

Zero Tolerance Laws

All states have zero tolerance laws. Zero tolerance means just that; a person who is under 21 with any amount of alcohol in their system is guilty of a DUI. If a minor is charged with a DUI, they will have their license suspended for one year, be ordered to attend DUI school and have to pay hundreds of dollars in fines.

Time Issue

Proving that a driver was legally impaired can be tricky. If someone is pulled over with a .07% blood alcohol, there is an argument that if they were pulled over earlier, they would have been at a .08% and legally impaired. This is a good example of why obtaining a skilled California DUI attorney is so important. The prosecutor will do their best to convince the court that the defendant drove with a .08% BAC, while there is no hard evidence to support this. It is important that a skilled lawyer is working on behalf of the defendant to convince the jury otherwise.

Noticeable Impairment

In most states, it is possible to get a DUI by being noticeably impaired. This impairment can be from alcohol, drugs or a combination of both. So if a person took a prescription medication and had a drink, they could be cited for a DUI even though their BAC was below .08%.

It is important to remember that not all DUI arrests are valid, and test results can be inaccurate. It is vitally important to contact legal counsel as soon as you have been arrested to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Contact us to ensure that your rights are protected.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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