DUI Lawyer Facts: Blood Alcohol Level Limit and DUI Consequences

by Criminal Defence Blawg on June 3, 2020

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Drunk driving is an offense that many people get tangled with due to not knowing the alcohol limit in certain jurisdictions. Driving under the influence or DUI is an act of driving a motor vehicle where the driver’s ability is impaired due to alcohol consumption. Their blood alcohol level might have exceeded the legal limit mandated by state laws. Drivers who are below 21 years old have a lower legal limit. State limits range from 0.00 to 0.02. People facing charges can work with a DUI lawyer to help them navigate the process.

Drunk driving can be referred to as driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI). Other terms for the criminal offense could be operating while impaired (OWI) or vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OVI).

The Bureau of Justice Statistics stated that there are an estimated 1.5 million drunk driving arrests that were made in the United States in 1996. It is a prevalent case running across all states for many decades. 29.1 million have admitted to having driven under the influence of alcohol in 2012. 1997 estimates showed that there were 513,200 offenders of the DUI crime and were placed under correctional supervision.

DUI Consequences

People who were arrested for drinking and going out to drive while under the influence of alcohol have committed a serious crime and need a DUI lawyer to represent them. Driving a vehicle with some alcohol in a person’s systems has its own designations depending on the state that a person is in. Any offense related to drunk driving is treated as a serious crime and should not be taken lightly.

It must be noted that DUI-type offenses apply to any motorized vehicle and even non-motorized bicycles. It includes mopeds, lawnmowers, and motorized watercraft. Individuals who use skateboards or rollerblades will not be charged with a DUI if they were stopped and were intoxicated. However, they can still be charged with public intoxication, which can depend on the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.

The determination on whether a person is within the legal alcohol limits cannot be simply indicated through field sobriety tests. Nevertheless, the person’s blood alcohol concentration or BAC can be measured through a breathalyzer, urine or blood analysis. These measures are used to clearly determine if a person is able to meet the standard level of legal intoxication.

In the US, the universally accepted BAC would be at 0.08 based on the federal standards that can determine the legal intoxication. Some jurisdictions may have their own variations. Individuals with a BAC starting from 0.08 or more have very little defense when going into the court and defending their sobriety. They might have a chance if they work with an experienced DUI lawyer who can question the method in which the BAC was measured. A person’s BAC is a definitive standard that can determine an individual’s intoxication. If a person passes all field sobriety tests but fails the BAC, they will still be subjected to arrest.

There are jurisdictions where a person tested lower than the limit of their BAC level yet they can still be charged with DUI offenses on their behavior. The manner of driving or being involved in an accident with a certain alcohol level in their BAC is at risk of being arrested for DUI. This measure is done due to some state officials and judges who consider that any alcohol level within a person’s system has the potential to impair their judgment and ultimately, their driving ability.

State BAC’s Differences

An individual who is within a state or simply visiting a jurisdiction must know the legal BACs. According to Benari Law, Pennsylvania has a three-tier Blood Alcohol Content system. Tier 1 is called the general impairment which is at 0.08. Tier 2 is at 0.10 while Tier 3 is at 0.13. This three-tier system is used in all states. The 0.08 level is used on all tier 1 systems for the entire United States. The differences of the state would be on tier 2 and tier 3 with some small .01 differences in BAC levels.

DUI offenses are not limited to alcohol use. People operating vehicles or motor-run units who are under the influence of drugs, both controlled and over-the-counter types of drugs can be arrested within the same offense.

Why would a DUI defendant need a lawyer?

As previously mentioned, DUI is a serious offense. If arrested, an individual will spend time in jail. The arresting officers have the authority to remove a person from the road. This would mean that the individual will be brought to the police station, go through the booking process, and place the person in jail until a bond has been posted. A DUI lawyer is needed to look into the method of BAC testing and help the client use legal grounds for his or her defense.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
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