Being Arrested For DUI When Your BAC Is Below The Limit: Yes, It's Legal

25 May 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog


If you're facing a DUI charge but had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that was lower than your state's limit, you might think the police officer who arrested you doesn't have a case. However, that might not be the case for you. It is legal to arrest someone for DUI if the person appears to be driving erratically or as if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It may be require more evidence to prove, but you're not facing a clear coast. You need to speak to a DUI lawyer about DUI due to noticeable impairment.

Noticeable Impairment

If you appear to be driving as if you were drunk, police can pull you over and possibly arrest you just for your driving behavior. While states have a low BAC limit of 0.08 percent (and Utah is lowering its limit soon), sometimes people don't handle small amounts of alcohol well. You could have been affected much more than you realized. Or, maybe you had very little alcohol, but you also had drugs in your system. Those won't really show up on a BAC test, but they will impair your driving.

Only BAC Needed Over the Limit

If your BAC is over the 0.08 percent limit, then the BAC is all the police need to arrest you, even if your driving seemed fine. But just because you were under the limit doesn't mean the police officer's view of your driving will be inadmissible in court. If you're under the limit but the police can prove you were driving in such a way as to indicate you were impaired, then the police can arrest you, and a court can convict you.

Rare Diabetes Symptoms

Now, there are times when someone appears to be driving erratically and they aren't drunk, but rather sick with diabetes. It's rare, but it is possible that you could have undiagnosed diabetes, and the erratic driving the police saw was due to your blood sugar making you act out. If that's a possibility, you need to see a doctor immediately, and your lawyer can present those medical records as proof.

Regardless of the cause or your BAC limit, being charged with DUI is serious. You have to get a good lawyer on your side so that you can reduce your penalties, or be cleared. Don't treat this as a sure thing just because you had a low BAC result. Talk to a DUI lawyer now.