Know Your Rights Regarding DUI Breath Tests
Many people believe that they cannot face criminal DWI or DUI charges unless they fail a breathalyzer test. It’s true that blowing above the legal limit of .08% can lead to a DUI charge. However, it’s important for drivers to understand that they can still be charged with drunk driving with a BAC below .08% under certain circumstances. It’s also important to understand that breathalyzer tests are not always reliable.
If you have questions about DUI defense and breath tests, contact a DUI defense lawyer at M. Reid Legal Solutions in Edwardsville for a free consultation. Reach us by email or by phone: 618-656-6622 or 314-703-7602. We offer free initial consultations.
The Experts Call On Us For Guidance. You Should, Too.
As an educator and respected professional in DUI defense, attorney Michael E. Reid has written guidebooks for other DUI attorneys in Illinois and Missouri. You know you are being represented by the best when the experts call on attorney Michael E. Reid for guidance in matters of field sobriety tests and chemical tests. He has the legal knowledge and professional resources to defend your rights in your DWI case, and he has the technical training to provide consulting for DUI experts at trial.
The legal limit for most drivers is .08%, but the legal limit for underage drivers is much lower. An underage driver is legally intoxicated if his BAC is .02% or more. This means an underage driver can face criminal charges for having a BAC under .08%; however, an underage driver will not necessarily face a DUI charge. Some underage drivers with low BAC results are charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol instead of DUI.
Commercial drivers are held to higher standards than other motorists. For this reason, the legal limit for these drivers is .04%, which means they can be charged with DWI even if their BAC level is below the .08% legal limit. This lower legal limit applies to all commercial drivers regardless of whether they were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of their arrest.
Signs of Impairment
According to state law, a driver commits the crime of DWI when he operates a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated state. This definition of DWI is broad and does not explicitly say that the driver must have a BAC level of .08% or more in order to face criminal charges. This means that you can be charged with DWI whenever a police officer has reason to believe that you are too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle—even if your BAC is below .08%.
For example, let’s say a police officer pulls you over after noticing that you are driving erratically. During the traffic stop, the officer notices that your reaction times are slower than average. He also notices you are having trouble paying attention, keeping your eyes open, and following directions. Based on these observations, the police officer may conclude that you are too impaired by either alcohol or drugs to safely operate a vehicle. Regardless of the breathalyzer results, the officer may arrest you for DWI.
Contact A DWI Defense Attorney
If you’re facing a drunk driving charge in Madison County, Illinois, or anywhere in the St. Louis metro area, there is no time to wait. Start defending against the charge today. Put M. Reid Legal Solutions on your side. We are leaders in the field of DUI defense. Call 618-656-6622 or 314-703-7602, or contact us by email for a free consultation. We can help.