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How can you be arrested for a DUI when your blood alcohol level is under the limit?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2020 | DUI |

Maybe you had a few beers at a friend’s house with dinner or stopped off at a bar to watch a game and have a few drinks. Even so, you definitely felt sober by the time you headed out the door and got on the road.

It was late. You were tired. You rolled through a stop sign and got pulled over. The next thing you know, the officer says that they smell alcohol on your breath and insists on giving you a Breathalyzer exam to check your blood alcohol content (BAC). You were gratified to see that it came up below the .08 limit — right up until you were arrested.

What just happened? Well, under Oklahoma law, you don’t have to blow a .08 on a Breathalyzer to be considered guilty of drunk driving. While a .08 or higher is automatically considered evidence that you’re driving under the influence, you can still be arrested, charged and convicted of a DUI based on any amount of alcohol in your system and the officer’s observations that you “seemed” impaired.

What might give an officer the ability to say that you seemed impaired? A simple driving mistake (like rolling through a stop sign or weaving) can be part of the officer’s assessment. Combine that with the officer’s statement that your breath smelled like beer and your eyes were bloodshot, and that’s about all it takes.

A drunk driving conviction has the potential to upend your life. Aside from the expense and the embarrassment, it can affect your ability to maintain a professional license. It can lead to serious fines, community service, the loss of your driver’s license, an ignition interlock device and prison. If you’re facing a DUI charge, talk to an experienced defense attorney right away.