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Can you get a DWI if you’re under the legal limit?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2022 | DWI Defense

If you break the legal limit and have a blood alcohol concentration that is over 0.08%, then you can be charged with a DWI. This is the level at which the court gets to presume that you were impaired, even if you claimed that you weren’t.

But what if you have a BAC that’s under that legal limit? Can you still get a DWI?

They can still show that you were impaired

You certainly can still be charged with a DWI if you’re under the legal limit, and the police have to show that you were impaired by the alcohol that you consumed. They can often do this with field sobriety tests and other measures. So don’t assume that you can’t be charged just because your BAC is at 0.07%. They will probably still try to charge you if you failed these tests or did something else to make them think that you were certainly impaired.

Different limits for different drivers

It’s also important to note that commercial drivers and young drivers often have other limits. For instants, the limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%, and drivers who are under 21 have zero-tolerance laws that mean they can’t have any detectable amount of alcohol at all. These are just two more ways in which you can get a DWI but be well under the general blood alcohol concentration limit.

The idea behind zero-tolerance laws is that those who are under 21 haven’t even reached the legal drinking age. There should theoretically not be any drunk driving for those who are still in their teens. When it happens, the authorities are able to make arrests even if that person isn’t impaired. Just a trace amount of alcohol showing up may not impact the way the person drives, but it can certainly still be enough for a DWI at a young age. You can imagine how detrimental this can be to someone’s future.

Are you facing charges?

If you are facing charges for drunk driving, the ramifications can be quite serious and you absolutely need to know what legal defense options you have. This is especially true for young drivers who have their whole future ahead of them and for commercial drivers who risk losing their license and career.

 

 

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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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