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Can I be charged with drunk driving if my BAC is under 0.08?

| Dec 17, 2020 | DUI/DWI |

The holiday season is here, and even if you are planning a small celebration, it is likely that alcohol will be involved. It is important that any one in Maryland who plans on driving after consuming alcohol understands Maryland’s drunk driving laws.

The two types of drunk driving violations in Maryland

Maryland law recognizes two separate drunk driving violations. One is DUI “per se.” This law is what most people think of when they think of drunk driving violations. A person commits DUI “per se” if they drive with a blood alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit of 0.08.

However, there is a second drunk driving offense under Maryland law. Under Maryland law, you can be charged with driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs (DWI) if evidence of your drinking shows you were unable to safely drive, even if your BAC is 0.07 or lower. Such evidence may be based upon field sobriety tests and police observation.

What are the effects of a BAC below the legal limit?

A person may think that if their BAC is below the legal limit, that they are safe to drive. However, this is not always true. Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a person has about three standard drinks and a BAC of 0.05, they may find it more difficult to steer and track moving objects. Their coordination may be affected as may their ability to respond to emergency driving situations.

Even if a person has only had two standard drinks and a BAC of 0.02, their driving abilities may still be affected. They may find it more difficult to track moving targets and they may find it more difficult to perform two tasks at once.

Seek assistance if you are accused of drunk driving

Ultimately, if you are accused of violating Maryland’s drunk driving laws, you will want to seek legal advice. This post cannot replace the advice of an attorney and should not form the basis of any legal defense strategy. Criminal defense attorneys understand Maryland’s drunk driving laws and may be a useful resource.