DUI Under the Legal Limit
DUI Lawyer in Maryland
A DUI charge is often the first criminal charge the suspected individual faces in their lifetime. Maryland advertises its .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit widely through billboards, social media sites, and other campaign materials. Thus, most drivers are mindful to keep their blood alcohol content under this level when driving to avoid an accident, ticket, or arrest. However, it is possible to be arrested for DUI despite having a BAC that falls below 0.08%.
What You Need to Know About DUIs Under the Illegal Limit
Getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol is a crime in the United States. The legal BAC limit is set to 0.08% in most states, including Maryland. A driver who fails to pass a breathalyzer test during a traffic stop can be arrested and charged with DUI. However, anyone who shows signs of intoxication may be arrested, regardless of their BAC. Listed below are some situations in which a driver may be charged for a DUI for having alcohol in their system, even if their BAC is under the legal limit.
A police officer must have a good reason for stopping a motorist. In most cases, a primary offense was committed, such as speeding or running a stop sign. During a traffic stop, the officer may detect alcohol on the breath of the driver, observe open containers in the vehicle, or see a pattern of unusual behavior. As a result, the officer would likely ask the driver to take a breathalyzer test to determine their BAC level.
In other words, if a police officer stops you and believes that you’re intoxicated or impaired, you can be charged with a DUI offense. Regardless of whether the driver is below the legal limit, police officers have final discretion when determining if the driver is under the influence.
Drinking and Driving Accidents
If a driver drinks before operating their vehicle and gets into an accident, harsh legal repercussions almost always follow. Since the driver was intoxicated, the insurance company would need to assess the extent of their liability. In this case, any other parties involved in the accident could choose to file a lawsuit for damages to their vehicles or injuries they sustained. Plaintiffs do not have to prove that a driver was legally intoxicated in a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation. To prove liability, a claim must demonstrate that the at-fault driver acted negligently and thus caused the victims’ injuries and losses.
On top of civil liabilities, a driver can face criminal penalties. As alcohol at any level can negatively impact your driving, if the police suspect that you are under the influence at the scene of the accident, they can administer field tests designed to assess your sobriety. Based on their investigations at the scene, even if the results of your breathalyzer show a BAC below .08, they can still charge you for a DUI. A driving while impaired charge (DWI) is another possibility. This may apply to you because while you’re below the legal limit, you’re still endangering yourself and other road users.
Underage Drivers and CDL holders
Even low levels of alcohol in the blood can be enough to charge and convict an underage driver of drunk driving and underage consumption of alcohol. Maryland has a zero-tolerance law for underage drunk drivers. While underage drivers are able to be charged without reaching the .08 BAC required for a DUI conviction, they aren’t the only ones.
Any Maryland driver, specifically commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, must be highly cautious. If a CDL holder blows .04 or above, they can be arrested and convicted for drunk driving. This level can be met with just a few alcoholic beverages depending on the person. Such situations often call for the assistance of a Maryland DUI attorney.
Contact a Maryland DUI Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Despite being under the legal limit for blood alcohol content, you should never take criminal charges lightly. In such situations, protecting yourself and your rights is vital. With assistance from a DUI lawyer at The Law Offices of Hillel Traub, you can protect yourself from aggressive charges of DUI in Maryland, ensuring you do not lose your license or face time in jail.
At the Law Offices of Hillel Traub, we can gather information about the events surrounding your case and prepare an effective defense strategy. Clients can rely on us to fight for the best possible result. Contact our firm at (410) 580-1100 to find out more about how we can help you fight your Maryland DUI charge.