Can A Person Still Be Intoxicated With a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Below 0.08?

Some drivers mistakenly believe that it is impossible to receive a DUI if their BAC (breath alcohol content) is under the legal standard of 0.08 percent.

This, however, is not always true as drivers can exhibit signs of intoxication with a BAC lower than 0.08 percent, which might result in you needing to know a DUI attorney.

Factors such as your gender, weight, and whether or not you have food in your system all play into how alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream.

dui below the legal limit

Just because you are below the legal limit of 0.08 percent doesn’t mean you aren’t a danger to yourself or others on the road.

Driving while buzzed can result in similar consequences to driving intoxicated, and so is taken seriously by law enforcement.

What Does Driving Buzzed Mean?

Buzzed driving refers to when a person is caught driving with a BAC of less than 0.08 percent, but the individual driving is still showing signs of intoxication (e.g. reckless driving, swerving).

Perhaps you have had only a minute amount of alcohol but it is still affecting your ability to drive and function properly. In such a case you may still be charged with a DUI if it can be shown that you consumed alcohol and that it is inhibiting your ability to drive.

Any sort of effect, no matter how small, that alcohol consumption is playing over your ability to drive, might be considered buzzed driving. Driving, even while slightly buzzed, is still a danger to yourself and other drivers on the road.

Due to the high rate of deaths resulting from intoxicated driving every year, law enforcement officers take buzzed driving very seriously.

Getting a DUI Under 0.08 BAC

Yes, it is possible to receive a DUI while under the legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC. While some think that is an impossibility, DUI attorneys can confirm that drivers often receive DUIs well below the legal limit.

Defense attorney Matthew Leyba has personally learned of DUI cases where the driver was at a level of 0.04 BAC — half of the legal limit!

Scenarios in which you are likely to get a DUI even if your BAC is below the legal percentage are the following:

  1. If your state or county has zero-tolerance laws, you are likely to get a DUI even if your BAC percentage was under 0.08.
  2. If you were driving recklessly
  3. If you are noticeably impaired
  4. If you failed the field sobriety test
  5. If you are not cooperative with the officer
  6. If you mixed other substance with alcohol

As you can see, there is more than one scenario that could lead to getting a DUI even if your BAC is under 0.08.

While the term “intoxicated” specifically refers to a level of 0.08 or above, drivers can exhibit signs of intoxication well below that and as we have shown, can be charged with a DUI.

Mixing Substances With Alcohol

Mixing substances such as cannabis or other drugs (prescription or otherwise) with alcohol is a dangerous thing. Even well below the legal limit of 0.08 BAC, drivers who have mixed alcohol with other substances are likely unfit to drive.

Officers who have pulled over drivers who are proven to have consumed alcohol, as well as other substances, are likely to write them a DUI.

It is illegal to use recreational drugs while driving or right before driving and if used in tandem with alcohol, such an offense could merit quite a bit of legal penalties.

Contact Expert Defense Attorney Matthew Leyba

If you or someone you know has received a DUI even though they were below the legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC, it’s essential to get in touch with a DUI attorney.

It’s disheartening when you are trying to be a responsible driver and know the legal alcohol limit and still end up with a DUI though you were well below 0.08 percent BAC.

If you want to contest the DUI because you feel it was unjust, don’t take the legal fight on your own. Work with a seasoned DUI defense attorney to minimize legal stress and maximize your likelihood of having the DUI lifted.

Expert defense attorney Matthew Leyba of Leyba Defense has years of experience under his belt. He has handled multiple cases involving drivers who received a DUI even though they tested below 0.08 percent BAC and has never lost one such case to date.

Start building your defense today by contacting DUI defense attorney Matthew Leyba and scheduling your first consultation.