Do You Have to Be Drunk To Be Guilty of Drunk Driving?

What it means to be drunk is hard to define. By law, if your blood alcohol is .080 or above, state DUI laws dictate that you will be ruled drunk by the courts whether or not your behavior shows you to be drunk. The terms vary, with “impaired” and “intoxicated” being used in most states.

In this Drunk Drivers Rights article you will learn that even if your blood alcohol level is less than the legal level, you could be found guilty of drunk driving.

Legally Drunk

If you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .080, the law in all states says that you are legally drunk. This is the case even if you show no visible signs of impairment. Your driving can be fine and you can ace a series of field sobriety tests, but if you have a BAC over the limit, the BAC test might stand up in court. The higher the test shows your BAC to be, the more likely you are to be convicted even if you showed no visible signs of impairment.

Under the Legal Limit but Drunk Anyway

Law enforcement has the leeway to arrest a driver who is visibly impaired and charge them with drunk driving even if their BAC is below the legal limit. Some people respond differently to alcohol and may not be fit to drive with a BAC of .05%. They might weave on the road while driving or miserably fail field sobriety tests.

If the person is under the legal limit but has taken prescription medication or used illegal drugs that interact with the alcohol, obvious impairment might also result, even if the BAC is within the legal limits.

Getting Good Legal Advice

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, an experienced drunk driving attorney will be able to answer your questions and advise you on how to proceed. If there is a reasonable chance the charges can be disproved, the DUI attorney might be willing to take your case and fight for you. Contact a few DUI lawyers in your area to learn more about your rights and the potential for winning a drunk driving case.

Remember, depending on the state or federal laws, you could be convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) even if you don’t meet the legal limit for DUI.