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Can I Be Charged With DUI if My BAC Was Under the Legal Limit?

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Arlington Heights, IL DUI defense attorney

When you are pulled over because a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence (DUI), you will probably be asked to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). In Illinois, you are legally considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol if your BAC is 0.08 percent or above. What you may not know, however, is that you can still actually be arrested and charged with DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit. The best way to avoid a DUI arrest and conviction is to understand your rights as a citizen of Illinois and avoid putting yourself into risky situations. If you have been arrested for DUI, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can be an invaluable asset.

Alcohol Use Under the Legal Limit

The legal limit anywhere in the United States to be considered intoxicated is 0.08 percent, but that does not mean that you cannot be charged with DUI if your BAC is below that. Illinois law states that a person may not drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if his or her BAC is 0.08 or more OR if he or she is under the influence of alcohol. This open-ended law allows police officers to use their judgment and determine whether a person is incapable of safely operating a vehicle, regardless of his or her actual BAC.

Impairment From Other Substances

Illinois law also states that a person can be charged with DUI if he or she has been using drugs or other controlled substances. Specifically, the law states that a person may not operate a vehicle if he or she is under the influence of any intoxicating compound, drug, or combination of drugs and/or alcohol that renders him or her unable to safely operate the vehicle. This means that you can be charged with a DUI if you are found to have any type of intoxicating drug in your system and you showed signs of impairment during the traffic stop. 

Driving while under the influence of marijuana may also be a concern, since Illinois has legalized the possession and use of recreational cannabis as of January 1, 2020. Illinois law states that a person can be charged with DUI if they have at least 5 nanograms of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) per milliliter of blood or at least 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of another bodily substance. As with intoxication by alcohol, a person may be charged with DUI after using marijuana if a police officer believes their ability to drive safely is impaired.

Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, the penalties can be harsh, resulting in fines, loss of driving privileges, and even jail. That is why you need immediate help from a skilled Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense lawyer. If your BAC was tested, and your result was below the legal limit, you may be able to use that information to your advantage. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has been helping clients avoid drunk driving convictions for more than 25 years. If you are facing DUI charges, call our office right away at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-501.htm

 

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