Despite the obvious dangers, many drivers opt to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. It is well-known that it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. Therefore, some drivers assume that they won’t get arrested if their breath test in Oregon shows a BAC under that limit. However, that is far from true. Police in Oregon can charge drivers with driving under the influence of intoxicants even if their BAC is under 0.08 percent. If you’re wondering why this is, we’ll answer your questions below.
If you’ve been charged with DUII, call an Oregon DUII defense attorney right away.
What’s Considered a DUII in Oregon?
Anyone with a BAC above the general 0.08 percent legal limit will indeed face arrest. The police will assume that they are impaired regardless of their body type, sex or ability to handle their liquor. However, there are other ways to find yourself facing charges of impaired driving. Minors with any alcohol at all in their system are guilty of DUII. So too are commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04 percent.
Also, if you used drugs or drugs and alcohol, you can be arrested. An officer simply needs to believe you are driving under the influence of intoxicants. This means you can face DUII charges with a BAC of 0.7 percent, 0.4 percent, or even 0 percent. Recreational marijuana use became legal in Oregon in 2014. Some experts believe this has caused an increase in the number of people using marijuana along with alcohol before driving.
Marijuana and other drugs can exacerbate the impact of alcohol on an individual’s motor skills. Therefore, you can show signs of significant impairment even if your BAC is low. Even among people who only use alcohol, impairment can be substantial even though their BAC is within the legal limit. Anytime you are charged with a DUI, you need to contact an experienced DUI attorney in Portland.
The Breath Test in Oregon
A breath test in Oregon is conducted at the police station. This means there will be a delay between the time police arrest you and when you provide a breath sample. If the alcohol has had time to dissipate through your system, your BAC may be below the legal limit. However, the authorities will try to work out what your BAC would have been when you were behind the wheel. This is not a perfect science since everyone’s body handles alcohol differently. Still, the police and prosecutor may suggest your BAC was above 0.08 percent. Alternatively, they may simply argue that you showed signs of impairment despite your low blood alcohol concentration.
What Happens If Your BAC is Under 0.08 Percent
If your BAC was under 0.08 percent, you may not face the same penalties as someone whose reading was higher. You typically won’t suffer an administrative driver’s license suspension. This implied consent suspension can often run for up to three years so avoiding it can be a huge advantage. However, an administrative suspension can still be imposed if you:
- Are under 21
- Hold a commercial driver’s license
- Were driving a commercial vehicle
- Refused to provide a urine sample
You can still face a criminal DUII charge and if the case ends in a conviction, your license can be suspended.
How A Portland DUII Attorney Will Help You
Defending a DUI charge is not usually easy regardless of whether your BAC was above or below the legal limit. When you meet with an attorney, make sure you share all the details surrounding your traffic stop, arrest, and breath test in Oregon. This could be key in your defense. Sometimes police officers make errors that weaken the prosecution’s case and your attorney could use these to get you off.
If your driving was impaired, an attorney can still help to ensure you get the best possible outcome. There are never any guarantees when you face a court but having an experienced attorney makes a big difference. You may be able to get a hardship license or get into a DUII Diversion Program.
Contact The Trilogy Law Group for Advice and Representation
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, don’t hesitate the call the Trilogy Law Group. Our team of Portland DUII attorneys will work hard to secure the best possible outcome for you. The penalties associated with a DUI can be harsh so you need someone who can help to minimize the consequences. It’s not a good idea to try to handle your case on your own. Contact us today to set up a consultation.