When can blood alcohol content lower than 0.08% lead to a DUI?

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | DUI |

DUI charges can happen to anyone at any age whether they have a criminal past or not. It is essential to know what circumstances can lead to these charges.

Many people are aware of the importance of blood alcohol content in a DUI charge. In most cases, the threshold for an arrest is if the person registers 0.08% BAC. However, there are times when a person can be charged for DUI with a lower amount.

Those who are of a certain age or work in specific jobs can be charged if they are stopped, tested and register less than 0.08%. Knowing who is vulnerable to this and the implications is key as is knowing how to craft a viable and effective defense.

Specific drivers can be arrested for a BAC of 0.04% or 0.02%

According to Alabama law, the BAC 0.08% is used for drivers who are of age to drink alcohol and are not using a special license. The rules are different for others. That includes people under the age of 21; commercial drivers; drivers of school buses and daycare vehicles; and those who have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.

Since people under 21 are not legally allowed to drink alcohol, any amount in their system could result in being charged with DUI if they operate a motor vehicle after consumption. If they are found to have 0.02% in their system, the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency will either issue a suspension of driving privileges or revoke their license. For a first violation when the amount falls between 0.02% and 0.08%, they will have a 30-day suspension. Those operating a school bus can also be charged if their BAC is 0.02%.

A commercial driver can be charged with DUI if they register 0.04% BAC. This is just the start of the potential problems for a person who makes a living as a commercial operator. Their commercial license will be suspended even if they are not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the arrest. This can negatively impact their job and be an obstacle on their record as they try to get other jobs.

An ignition interlock device is often installed on a person’s vehicle after they have been convicted of DUI. With it, they must blow into the device before the vehicle can start and blow into it again intermittently to ensure they have not consumed alcohol since the previous test. The duration for which the device must be on the vehicle can be extended after at least four violations within a month.

DUI defense must be tailored to the details of the case

Not all allegations of DUI are the same and people who are charged after registering less than 0.08% must know what penalties they will face not just in court but in their personal lives. Since any arrest can be problematic in myriad ways, it is wise to know the avenues available to fight the charges with a comprehensive criminal defense no matter how much alcohol is said to have been in the driver’s system.