If I Suspect That I Am Under The Legal BAC Limit In Pennsylvania, Can I Drive Without Fear Of Being Arrested?

PA DUI Lawyer in Erie, Edinboro, Warren

In any situation where you believe that you may be under the influence of alcohol, it is better to call a cab or ask a friend to give you a ride in order to be safe. In the state of Pennsylvania, a blood alcohol content level under 0.08 could technically be considered a violation of existing statutes referred to as the “general impairment statute“.

You Are Still Under The Influence, Even If Not Over The Legal Limit

This law mandates that an individual should not drive after having a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is incapable of operating a vehicle safely. If you are pulled over for a traffic infraction, if you drive through a check point, get involved in a small car accident or otherwise have an interaction with a law enforcement officer on your way home, you run the risk of giving the officer the impression that you are unsafe to drive.

Impairment Can Be Subjective

This is true even if you have your blood alcohol content tested and it falls under 0.08. If you ultimately have to go to court in front of a jury or a judge, the decision about whether you were generally impaired or not depends primarily on the officer’s testimony about how you acted and appeared at the time that you were driving your vehicle.

Typically, an officer’s observations in this situation will include symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, slow movements or other observations that will be difficult to argue with at trial. Being convicted under the general impairment statute doesn’t mean that the state has to provide any evidence of your true blood alcohol content, even if it was under 0.08. This is why it is always better to be safe than sorry, if you believe that you could be operating a vehicle while impaired.

Better Safe Than Sorry – Don’t Drink And Drive

In this situation, it is better to use public transportation or rely on somebody else. Never put yourself at risk of running into a law officer and having the perception be that you are not safe to operate a vehicle. You could end up paying the price in terms of criminal charges that will continue to follow you for many years to come. When in doubt, do not get behind the wheel of a car.

Arrested or Charged With DUI? Get Your Free Consultation With a PA DUI Lawyer Today

Even if you were under the legal limit, hiring a PA DUI lawyer is a wise idea if you were arrested or charged with a DUI, for several reasons. For one thing, a DUI lawyer can help negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor on your behalf and may be able to lessen your penalties, have your charges dismissed, and keep your license. Also, a skilled DUI lawyer can end up saving you more money in penalties than the legal fees. So, you end up spending less and you protect your constitutional rights at the same time. Get your free, confidential consultation today to discuss your DUI defense.