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BAC less than 0.08 percent? It may still be a DUI

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2018 | Blog

Police in Pennsylvania have recently called upon lawmakers to update the state’s DUI laws. The concern is that with medical marijuana becoming more prevalent, it could lead to more dangerous driving from people who believe they are all right because they have not drunk much alcohol.

Breath tests are only designed to check for the presence of alcohol in a person’s system. They cannot check for marijuana. Therefore, a person could have a BAC lower than 0.08 percent but still pose a danger. Even prescription medication combined with alcohol can lead to dangerous driving, and a person can face a DUI arrest if the police perform a blood test to discover such substances. In fact, there are a variety of circumstances where someone with a BAC lower than 0.08 percent will face arrest for DUI.

Obvious impairment

People who are exceptionally heavy drinkers may be able to have a BAC of 0.10 percent and still be able to function normally. Other people who do not drink as often may become incredibly impaired with a BAC of only 0.05 percent. If the police catch a driver swerving through lanes or engaging in other dangerous behavior, then they will definitely pull the vehicle over. If authorities later discover the person had any alcohol in his or her system, then they will justifiably be able to make an arrest.

Different categories of drivers

Law enforcement does not hold all drivers to the same standards. For example, people under the age of 21 cannot drive with any alcohol in their systems. Commercial drivers need to maintain a BAC of less than 0.04 percent.

Long enough passage of time

This factor is mostly up to the officer’s discretion. An officer may pull a driver over and administer a breath test. The person blows a 0.07 percent. This is under the limit, but the officer believes the person initially drove with a BAC over 0.08 percent, and the concentration simply went down over time. Regardless of the circumstances, it is best to get an experienced DUI attorney onboard as soon as possible.