Can You Be Convicted of DWI if You Were Below the .08 Limit?

Facing a conviction for driving under the influence can be a stressful experience, no matter the circumstances. You may wonder if fighting the charge is possible, especially if breathalyzer test results read below the .08 blood alcohol content level. If you choose to obtain legal help and respond to charges in court, you may want to know about a few factors that could affect the outcome.

You Could Be Convicted for Buzzed Driving 

While the national blood alcohol level for driving drunk is .08, you still might be convicted if a breathalyzer test detected a lower amount of alcohol in your system. You could still be arrested and charged under a number of circumstances, including:

  • If you are visibly impaired 
  • Having a BAC of .07 
  • Making unsafe driving decisions, such as rapid lane changes 

The officer on site typically decides whether your actions warrant a buzzed driving arrest.

Impaired Driving Has Several Definitions 

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving but blow below .08 on a breathalyzer test, you might still have to face charges due to other circumstances. For example, if you take any kind of medication and have a few drinks, the combination might affect your ability to drive safely or affect your reaction time. No matter the reason for the impairment, you might still face charges. This usually includes the legal use of medical marijuana.

Field Sobriety Tests May Result in a Charge 

While breathalyzer test results may prove that you were below the limit while driving, other field sobriety tests could support a conviction in court. If you failed to stand on one leg, complete the walk-and-turn test or any other sobriety test, this may result in an arrest. You may want to discuss the circumstances of the test results with your attorney if you plan to fight the charge.

Passengers May Affect Your Charge 

The age and status of individuals in your car at the time of your being pulled over may have an impact on whether you are arrested. Having children in the car or minors who are intoxicated may cause immediate arrest, even if a breathalyzer test showed you were driving while under the legal BAC limit. If you yourself are a minor and a test indicates alcohol in your system, this will likely result in an arrest as well.

Being accused of DUI can be a stressful and challenging time, but there are circumstances that may help your case in a court hearing. Contact a Civic Center San Francisco DUI lawyer, like from Hallinan Law Firm, today for an initial consultation and further assistance.

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