For most drivers, the legal limit is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. Some drivers are an exception to this rule, such as drivers who are under 21 or who are driving for commercial purposes. They will sometimes have much lower legal limits. However, the general population is held to the 0.08% limit.
That being said, people sometimes assume that this means they can’t get arrested for drunk driving if they don’t break the limit. But that’s not always how it works, and you could certainly face DUI charges anyway.
Evidence of impairment
The law says that drivers are not allowed to operate motor vehicles while too impaired to do so safely. The legal limit allows the court to presume that the driver was impaired if they are at or over the limit. That’s why it is so important and used in so many cases.
But it’s not the only evidence of impairment. Police officers on the scene may see other evidence, such as the fact that someone caused a car accident or made other driving mistakes. The officers may administer field sobriety tests, which that person then fails. All of this could be evidence of impairment, and simply blowing a 0.07% on a breath test is not necessarily going to get the driver out of arrest.
It will change the case, however. If the police do not have a breath test reading that they can use as evidence, they have to demonstrate that impairment for a conviction. Those who are facing charges must know about all of the legal defense options they have.