There always seems to be some occasion this time of year where you will enjoy a drink or two. It may be a backyard bonfire, a wedding or happy hour. You always intend to drink responsibly, but the police in Oregon will be on the lookout for those they believe are drunk driving, even if the motorist’s BAC is below the legal limit.
DUI with a BAC of 0.08% or above
One way to get a DUI is to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% or above. This is known as “DUI per se” meaning that based on your BAC alone you can be charged with DUI without further evidence of intoxication needed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that alcohol can hurt your ability to drive safely. If you have a BAC of 0.08, you could experience short-term memory loss, a loss of coordination, and a reduction in your ability to process danger or use prudent judgment.
DUI with a BAC below the legal limit
However, you can also get a DUI if your BAC is below the legal limit. Under Oregon law, you can be charged with DUI if you are under the influence of alcohol or another impairing substance. This type of DUI may be based on police observation and field sobriety tests. It is up to the prosecution to prove this type of DUI charge.
The NHTSA reports that even a BAC of 0.05% can negatively affect your driving, despite being below the legal limit. If you have a BAC of 0.05%, you could find it more difficult to coordinate your actions. Steering becomes harder and you have a harder job responding to emergencies on the road.
Fighting a DUI charge
Still, it is important to note that if you got a DUI you can contest the charges against you, especially if your BAC was below the legal limit. You can challenge the accuracy of the Breathalyzer used, the interpretation of field sobriety tests performed and other police observations that can be called into question. With the right help you can challenge DUI charges in a way that leads to an acceptable outcome.