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Can you get a DUI without failing a blood or breath test?

One thing you may not have known about a DUI is that you can get one even if you're not over the legal limit. How is that possible, and is it legal? Unfortunately, it is legal and it's possible if the officer can prove that you were intoxicated enough to be a threat to yourself or others.

When you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent, it's called being "per se intoxicated." That means that the officer doesn't need any other proof than the test to show that you were intoxicated. However, driving while intoxicated with any amount of alcohol in your system can still lead to an arrest and charge.

How can an officer arrest you with a BAC below .08?

It's most likely for this to happen if you are noticeably impaired. For example, if you are driving and weaving back and forth on the road, the officer may pull you over. If you have a BAC of .06 but are too dangerous to drive, the officer can still arrest you to get you off the streets. An officer also has the ability to arrest you if he or she suspects that you are intoxicated by drugs and are driving dangerously as a result.

Fortunately, it is harder to prosecute someone who has a BAC that is lower than .08 percent. This works in your favor, since you can argue that you were not impaired at the time of the arrest. Your attorney can help you devise a strong defense to the charges, so you can avoid a conviction.

Source: FindLaw, "BAC Below 0.08%? It Can Still Be a DUI," Aditi Mukherji, JD, accessed Aug. 15, 2017

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