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Can you get a DWI when you’re under the limit?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | DUI Defense

The legal limit for driving after consuming alcohol is generally a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. There are some cases in which drivers will have lower limits. For instance, commercial drivers typically have lower limits, as do drivers who are under 21 years old. But the vast majority of drivers simply have to adhere to the limit of 0.08%.

What people will often assume is that this means they can only get a DWI if they are over that limit. As long as they stay under it, they feel like they can drive without having to worry about legal charges. But it’s important to know that this is not always true.

Other means of identifying impairment

The truth is that you can get a DWI any time that the police believe you were driving while you were impaired by some sort of substance. This substance could be alcohol, but it could also be a prescription medication or an illegal drug. Driving while you are impaired is dangerous to the public and so it is not permitted.

If you’re under the legal limit, the police may have other means of identifying this level of impairment. For example, a driver may have caused a car accident. Even if their BAC is just at 0.07%, the police could likely claim that they were still impaired and that the evidence is the fact that they caused a crash. Impaired driving charges can still be brought, even without evidence of breaking that legal limit.

All those who are facing DWI charges need to know about their potential legal defense options.