Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol poses great risk to anyone on the road. The law takes drunk driving very seriously, and those charged with a DUI could face a variety of punishments including the loss of driving privileges, financial penalties, and even imprisonment.
Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is higher than .08 is illegal in Louisiana and throughout the country. Being pulled over and failing a breathalyzer or blood test is the most direct way to face DUI charges. However, there are many different situations where an officer can charge you for driving while intoxicated, even if your BAC is below the legal limit.
The first situation in which you can be charged with a DUI even if your blood alcohol level is below the state level is if you are below the legal drinking age. All states require individuals to be at least 21 years of age to consume alcohol. Underage drinking is just as illegal as underage drinking and driving. If you are under 21 and are pulled over with a BAC as low as .01 percent, you could still face DUI charges and penalties per Louisiana’s zero tolerance policy.
Driving erratically is another situation where the motorist will get charged with a DUI even if their BAC is below the legal limit. Alcohol affects everyone differently. While some people might be able to drive a car after having one or two drinks, it might be physically impossible for others to do so. If you get pulled over and have an acceptable BAC but are clearly intoxicated, DUI charges are still possible.
Passage of Time
If there is a passage of time between your BAC test and when you got behind the wheel, it may result in DUI charges. For example, if a driver was tested and had a BAC of .07 percent (below the limit), but it turns out they’ve been on the road for a long time, it becomes clear to the legal system that the driver had to get into the car when their BAC was still above the limit. Even if the test comes back clean, law enforcement could still charge you with a DUI.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, waste little time in securing legal representation. The Louisiana DUI attorneys at the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, LLC are knowledgeable and experienced defense lawyers who can help protect your best interest. We can use the details surrounding your DUI arrest like the reason for the stop and the conditions in which the test was administered to lessen penalties and negotiate a favorable agreement. Contact us today at 318-377-1555 for a free case evaluation.