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DUI arrest even if BAC is less than 0.08

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2017 | Blog |

There are a number of factors that can affect the punishment for a DUI charge in West Virginia. Your age, BAC level and any prior convictions can all alter the potential penalties on the table. 

The legal blood alcohol content level in West Virginia is 0.08, which is the standard in most states. If a police officer catches a person driving with a BAC of at least 0.08, then the police will automatically arrest that person. However, it is completely possible for someone to have a BAC less than 0.08 and still face DUI charges. There have to be certain circumstances in place for that to happen, but drivers should simply avoid driving if they have had anything to drink that evening. 

Passage of time

As an example, the police pull over a driver on suspicion of drunk driving, and that individual has a BAC of 0.07. This is below the 0.08 limit, but the police could argue the person drove with a BAC of 0.08 and that number simply declined over the passage of time. It is up to the discretion of the officers, but they could place the driver under arrest for DUI. 

Notable impairment

Alcohol affects everyone differently. A driver may have a BAC of 0.04, but if that person swerves the car across freeway lanes at a dangerous speed, then BAC does not matter. The police can arrest the person for reckless endangerment as well as drunk driving if the person has any alcohol in his or her system. 

Under legal age

People under the age of 21 only need to have a BAC of at least 0.02 to face arrest for driving under the influence. In lieu of a suspension, the underage person may only need to install an interlock device in the vehicle. There are additional limitations for people who operate commercial vehicles. The BAC limit for drivers operating a big rig or other commercial car is 0.04.