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Ongoing NHTSA campaign brings topic of buzzed driving to light

You went out for a few drinks with friends, and you were careful to keep your drinking to a minimum. Certain that you were under Missouri's legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent, you got in your car to drive home. Unfortunately, law enforcement pulled you over and gave you a DUI because, according to the officer, there was reason to believe that you are alcohol-impaired.

How did this happen, if you were not legally drunk? It can help to understand how "buzzed driving" may fit into the category of drunk driving.

Buzzed driving campaign may protect you from a DUI

Many officials believe that the first drink compromises your driving ability. In fact, a University of California, San Diego, study revealed that drivers with less than a 0.08 percent BAC have a 46 percent higher risk of being held liable in drunk driving accidents, despite not being legally drunk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers buzzed driving to be such a pervasive problem that it holds an ongoing campaign, "Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving," to raise awareness to the issue.

If you are aware that it compromises your decision-making skills, reaction time and hand-eye coordination to have just one or two drinks, it may prompt you to call an Uber instead of taking the risk of driving home and getting in a fender bender or facing an arrest for drunk driving.

Circumstances surrounding a low-BAC arrest may be vague

If the authorities charge you with a DUI when you have a lower blood alcohol content, the officer will likely claim that your behavior behind the wheel or during the traffic stop indicated you were driving under the influence. It may be possible to defend your claim that you were not alcohol-impaired in this case. This situation often requires the competent experience of a DUI defense attorney.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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