Can You Still Be Arrested with BAC Below .08?

The legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is .08% for drivers of ages 21 and older, and drivers under the age of 21 is .01, meaning that he/she cannot have ANY detectable amount of alcohol in their body under California’s Zero Tolerance Law.

When Can I Be Arrested for a BAC Below 0.08?

You can still be arrested for having a BAC under 0.08 if you show signs of intoxication or impairment, such as:

  • Stumbling while walking
  • Slurring your words 
  • Being combative with the officer
  • Difficulty with motor skills
  • Swerving or reckless driving
  • Failing field sobriety tests

So the truth is, you may still be arrested for DUI regardless of your BAC if you display signs of intoxication or impairment at the time of driving.

Whether the substance is alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal substances, the prosecutor can still attempt to prove you were impaired despite being below the legal BAC limit. In these types of cases, you may be asked to plead to a wet reckless, a lesser criminal charge that counts as a “priorable offense” for future DUI charges.

How Can the Police Justify Arrest If My BAC Was Below the Limit? 

Being guilty of DUI requires showing that you were impaired at the time of driving. During the time it takes to arrest you, drive you to jail, and administer the BAC test, your BAC may have already started to decrease. The general rule is for every hour, your BAC decreases by .01. 

The next time you drive, remember that no matter what the substance may be, or how much is in your system, if it affects your ability to drive safely, you could be on the hook for DUI charges. In many cases, even having one drink is sufficient to charge a driver with DUI.

Arrested for DUI? We Can Help.

If you were arrested for DUI but you only had a drink or two, don’t make the mistake of assuming that because your BAC was below .08% that you cannot be convicted of a DUI.

Work with an Orange County DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. and let us help minimize the consequences of your DUI arrest. Call today!

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