People sometimes believe that you have to break the legal limit in order to get charged with a DUI. That limit is set at a BAC of 0.08%.
It is true that breaking this legal limit is going to lead to DUI charges. That doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted, of course, but it does mean that you can be charged because the court can presume that you were impaired. You have broken the law as a driver in Texas.
But if you don’t go over that limit, perhaps blowing at 0.07%, does that mean you can’t get a DUI?
You may be underage
The first way to get a DUI when you’re under the legal limit is if you are also underage. There is no tolerance at all for underage drivers. A teenager who blows a 0.02% could still be arrested on impaired driving charges. They cannot legally drink or purchase alcohol to start with, so consuming any alcohol is already a crime.
You may still be impaired
But the second thing to remember is that the police can arrest you for being too impaired to drive. It doesn’t necessarily matter what your blood alcohol concentration is. If you drank enough that it’s impairing your abilities, they can take you in.
The police are going to look at other factors. If you caused an accident or ran a stop sign, for instance, they can still use this as evidence of impairment and arrest you. Simply being under the legal limit won’t necessarily protect you from these charges.
As a result, if you have been arrested, it’s critical that you understand your legal defense options.