Understanding the Legal Blood Alcohol Content Limit

Car Accident Lawyer

It is the responsibility of every citizen to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol. The consequence for failing this duty is a DUI, which is one of the most serious criminal charges an average person will ever face. A person’s blood alcohol content level, or BAC, is what we use to gauge how much alcohol someone has had. Do you know what the legal BAC limit is to drive a vehicle? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

The Legal BAC Limit

The first thing you need to understand is that there are two laws that govern driving while intoxicated. Only one deals with a specific BAC level. Let’s discuss that law first. The law states that no one may operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level at or above 0.08.

Remember, everyone is different and alcohol affects certain people more than others. All of these factors affect how much alcohol is needed to reach this 0.08 limit:

  • Weight
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Medication

When it comes to driving a vehicle after a drink or two, you should always err on the safe side.

Driving While Impaired

There is another law that you need to be aware of. In addition to it being illegal to drive with a BAC above a specific level, it is also illegal to drive while impaired. As you can tell, this law is much vaguer than the other one. What constitutes being too impaired to drive is subjective.

This law is intentionally vague so that each driver is judged on a case-by-case basis. There are no loopholes to get out of legal trouble due to using a mind-altering substance that is not specifically stated in the DUI law. If a drug impairs you enough that you cannot drive safely, it is still illegal even if it does not affect your BAC level in any way.

However, this does mean that it is up to the arresting officer to decide if you are too impaired to drive safely. It is possible to receive a DUI even if there is not any alcohol in your system. This judgment is usually made based on swerving while driving, inability to function after being pulled over, and colliding with objects.

If you have been arrested with a DUI charge, the first thing you should do is speak with a DUI lawyer in Fairfax, VA. It is important to get legal representation as soon as possible to maximize your chances of winning your case.

Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into criminal law and blood alcohol content in a DUI case.