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BAC Below the Legal Limit? You Can Still Get a DUI.


In Colorado, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater is illegal and can result in a DUI. If you’re like most drivers, you’re probably already aware of this fact and think you’d be safe from a DUI arrest as long as your BAC falls below this threshold. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. You can still get a DUI if your BAC is below the legal limit and you may face other criminal charges as well.

When it comes to DUI laws in Colorado, “driving under the influence” means a lot more than driving with your BAC at or above a certain threshold. If an officer reasonably suspects that your driving is impaired by alcohol (or another substance) to any degree, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of that substance.

In this case, impairment would mean that the officer believes your ability to exercise clear judgment, physical control, or due care while driving is affected by your alcohol consumption – even if you blew below 0.08%. The reason for the legal limit is to establish a point at which someone is legally presumed to be intoxicated by alcohol, but it doesn’t preclude the possibility of impairment below that level.

You Can Also Face DWAI Charges

You may not always face a DUI if your BAC is below 0.08%, but you could face a charge for driving while ability impaired (DWAI). This offense applies to those who are behind the wheel with a BAC between 0.05% and 0.08%.

In terms of penalties, a DWAIs is a little less severe than a DUI, but you still wouldn’t want to get convicted. A first offense alone can mean facing up to six months in jail and up to $500 in fines, which is about half of what you could face for a first DUI conviction.

Whether you’re charged with a DUI or DWAI, you should seek experienced legal counsel to help you defend against your charges. We at The Orr Law Firm have represented many previous clients in previous DWAI and DUI cases and helped them secure better outcomes to their unique legal situations.

If you’d like to learn more about what we can help you achieve, take advantage of a free initial consultation. Contact us online now to request yours.