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Criminal Defense Attorneys
Flint, Michigan

(810) 238-0500

Can I be arrested for DUI with a BAC below 0.08%?

Michigan criminal defense attorney

So you've had a couple of drinks. You feel sober enough to get behind the wheel. For most people, small amounts of alcohol don't cause any problems. If you think you can't be arrested and charged with a DUI, though — think again.

You could be arrested if the police have reason to believe that you have been driving drunk. Anything you tell police at the time of your arrest could make matters worse. For example, the police officer who pulls you over may ask if you've had anything to drink. If you tell the police officer that you had one drink, it could lead to further suspicion and probing.

That's why it's best to remain silent when asked any questions. You only need to provide your driver's license and registration but do not have to answer any questions.

Michigan could soon lower its legal BAC limit to 0.05 percent

As we previously discussed, lawmakers proposed to lower the current blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent.

House Bill 4420 was proposed by Rep. Abdullah Hammound (D-Dearborn) and supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

If the bill becomes law, Michigan will become the second state in the nation (besides Utah) to establish a BAC limit of 0.05 percent.

DUI tests aren't always accurate

Police use field sobriety tests and breath tests to determine if someone is impaired by alcohol. You are obligated to take these tests under Michigan's implied consent law. You can refuse to take them, but you could face legal consequences, such as a one-year suspension of your driver's license.

Field sobriety tests are used to observe noticeable impairment impacting eye movement, balance, and physical coordination. Field sobriety tests usually include:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
  • One Leg Stand (OLS)
  • Walk and Turn (WAT)

These tests are flawed, since a driver's performance can be impacted by:

  • A physical or cognitive disability
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • An illness
  • An injury
  • Use of prescription drugs
  • Age

Preliminary breath tests are administered to determine a driver's BAC level by having the driver blow into a breathalyzer. Several investigations have found glitches in breathalyzers, making them unreliable in many cases. Police will likely administer a further breath test after you're arrested and booked at the police station.

Why it's critical to consult with a DUI lawyer

If you were arrested and charged with DUI due to a faulty breath test reading or a police officer's poor judgment, don't hesitate to consult with an experienced Michigan DUI defense attorney. The attorneys at Manley & Manley have more than 70 years of combined experience helping clients fight DUI charges.

Contact our Flint law office online or call 810-238-0500 to schedule your free case evaluation.

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