Most people don’t know this, but DUIS are not limited to only alcohol, but covers drugs such as marijuana and prescription medications as well. Even if you are taking completely legal, over the counter medication that has been prescribed by your doctor, if your driving was impaired because of the substance, you can still be convicted of a DUI. The key element that must be proved in a DUI trial is that the person suffered from a physical or mental impairment such that he/she cannot drive with the same caution that a sober person.
There are many factors that affect how a person processes alcohol. So if you are looking for a straight answer of how much alcohol you can “safely” drink to avoid being above a .08 blood alcohol content (BAC), that is not an answer that I can answer because the answer is “It depends.” Actually the answer might just be – don’t drink. There are many factors that affect what a person’s BAC level will be. In drug related DUIs, there is typically no numerical value to when a person is presumed impaired.
In alcohol-related DUIS, a jury is allowed to find that the person is presumptively impaired when a person’s blood alcohol is at or above a 0.08%. This does not mean that if your blood alcohol is below 0.08% that you will not be charged with a DUI, many people with below a .07 BAC can still be charged with a DUI. The real question is whether that alcohol affected you to the point where you cannot drive with the same caution as a sober person. Some people are still very functional and alert at or above a .08% BAC. The fact that it is a rebuttable presumption does not mean you will lose your DUI case, there are still many points that a good criminal defense attorney can attack to make the case more in your favor.
The maximum exposure for a person convicted for a DUI is 6 months in jail. Depending on the facts of each case, most people generally do not go into jail and will be looking at a fine, probation, and community or work service. A person who has been arrested for a DUI will also face license suspension. Make sure you read all the paperwork that is handed to you; you will likely have 10 days from the date you were arrested to timely demand a hearing to save your license. If you do not demand this hearing, your license will most likely be suspended.
If you or someone you know is looking at a DUI charge, don’t wait any longer to speak to an experience criminal defense attorney! Call us today to schedule your free consultation and let us take care of you.