If You Blow Under the Legal Limit, Can You Still Be Charged With a DUI?

By September 8, 2017Criminal Defense

There is a long-standing myth that even after you’ve had a few drinks, if you blow below the legal limit on a breathalyzer test, you won’t or can’t be arrested or charged with a DUI. Unfortunately, this is wrong. If you were pulled over on the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, even if you blow below the legal limit, the officer can still arrest you and you can still be charged with a DUI.

Every state in the United States has a legal blood alcohol limit of.08, but most people don’t realize that you can blow below the legal limit and still be arrested, and even, convicted. If the law enforcement officer has reason to believe that you were impaired and “under the influence” of alcohol, you will be arrested. Put another way, if law enforcement has probable cause to contact you and you have any alcohol in your system, even if it is well below the legal limit, it is within their right to arrest you if they believe you are impaired.

At trial, the prosecutor would have to prove that, even though you were below the legal limit, you were too impaired by the alcohol in your system to be driving. Evidence presented can be video of your swerving or driving dangerously from the dash cam, statements made at the traffic stop, and your appearance and ability to perform field sobriety tests during the traffic stop. This is why many states are featuring the ongoing “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” campaign that asks people not to drive if they have any alcohol in their system at all.

If you got behind the wheel and you were below the legal limit and still got arrested for a DUI, contact us today. Your case isn’t hopeless and we can help.