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Do You Need A 0.08 BAC To Be Charged With Drunk Driving?

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Feb 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

When asked what the legal limit is to drink and drive in Washington state, many of you may say 0.08.

And you would be correct.

However, did you know that you can also be charged with drunk driving if you test for a 0.04 or even a 0.02 blood alcohol level? So what gives?

Generally, the legal limit for adults 21 and over driving personal vehicles is 0.08.

But we all know that individuals under the age of 21 also drink and get behind the wheels of their cars. As a result, Washington law sets a more restrictive standard of 0.02 for minors caught drinking and driving. This can be one or two beers for the average-sized man.

For commercial vehicle drivers, their legal limit is 0.04. It may take more skill to drive and maneuver a commercial vehicle, justifying the stricter standard.

Finally, you should be aware that you can be arrested for a DUI regardless of age and regardless of your blood alcohol level so long as you are found to be impaired by alcohol. This is typically a judgment call by the arresting officer, but if you are drunk after only one beer, you can be arrested even if your blood alcohol level is 0.01.

The legal limit of 0.08 is just the standard the state uses to automatically deem you a drunk driver. You can also be arrested for blood alcohol levels far below this amount.

If you get arrested for a DUI in the Seattle or King County areas and are unsure of the charges brought against you or need general help with your defense, contact the DUI attorneys at Wolff Criminal Law.

We have years of experience defending drunk driving defendants. Call us today at 425-284-2000 to schedule a free consultation. Don't fight your DUI fight alone!

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 18 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.


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