Drivers often think that only a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% can get them a DUI — or, at least, anything over that legal limit. This is why people often try to judge whether or not they think they’re too drunk to drive. They’re trying to decide if, should they get pulled over on the way home, they’d blow over the limit. There may be a small difference between .07% and .08%, but they don’t want to stray on the wrong side of this line.
It is good to be aware of the legal limit, but it doesn’t quite work as described above. In reality, any BAC at all can lead to DUI charges if an officer thinks you were impaired. It doesn’t necessarily have to be over .08%. If you caused an accident, for instance, the officer might see that as evidence of impairment even if your BAC comes in at .07% or less.
Why have a legal limit if it doesn’t protect you from DUI charges? The goal of the limit is just to make it possible to give a DUI to anyone who exceeds it. If you do, the court is free to assume that the alcohol impaired your ability to drive. If you’re under that limit, you’re no longer presumed impaired, but that is different than claiming that you were not impaired.
DUI laws have some intricacies that you need to be aware of. If you find yourself facing legal charges, you also need to know what steps to take, as the ramifications can have a drastic impact on your future.