When the police perform a traffic stop under the suspicion that a driver is drunk driving, they may ask the driver to do a sobriety test. In some cases, the police may have the suspect do a standardized field sobriety test (SFST). An SFST allows police to judge a suspect’s inebriation levels by having them perform several actions.
If an SFST is inconclusive and the police feel they need to collect more evidence, then they may ask the driver to take a breath alcohol test. A breath alcohol test or breathalyzer is a small, radio-like box with a mouth port that measures the blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) in a person’s breath. If the police find the machine reads 0.08% BAC or more, then the suspect may be charged with a DUI.
In some cases, police may still charge a suspect with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol even if their BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08%. Why would a driver still face a DUI if a breath test reads below the legal limit? Here’s what you should know:
You can still face a DUI if your BAC is below the limit
A driver may have had only one or two light drinks, not nearly enough to measure above 0.08% BAC. As such, the driver believed they were sober enough to drive home. If a traffic stop led an officer to suspect them of drunk driving, yet their BAC is below the legal limit, there’s a possibility they could still face a DUI because of their actions. For example, if the police observe the suspect unable to keep a conversation or are visibly unable to function.
If you face a DUI, you should ensure you know your legal rights when committing a criminal charge. You may have numerous potential defenses available.