Can I be Charged With a DUI if I Blow Under .08 percent?

Published: Jul 25, 2016, by admin in Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes, DUI, Legal Blog

Yes, you can be charged with a DUI even if a breath test shows a blood alcohol content (BAC) level under .08 percent. Many people believe that the only way to be arrested for a DUI is to have been drinking alcohol and blow a .08 percent or higher on a breathalyzer. However, there’s much more to a DUI than your BAC. If you were charged with a DUI despite blowing less than a .08 percent, call a Chicago DUI defense lawyer with O’Meara Law at 312-909-0706.

Illinois DUI Law

People may concentrate on the 0.08 BAC standard, but the truth is that the law describes a variety of actions that can lead to a DUI conviction. Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/11-501 states a person should not drive or be in control of any vehicle if he or she:

  • Has a BAC of .08 percent or more
  • Is under the influence of alcohol
  • Is under the influence of an intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders a person incapable of driving safely
  • Is under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders a person incapable of driving safely
  • Is under the combined influence of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating compounds
  • Has any amount of drug, substance, or compound on their breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful consumption of a controlled substance like cannabis or methamphetamine

Marijuana Can Lead to a DUI

If you consumer marijuana, your perception and physical abilities may be altered. This could lead to a DUI. If an officer sees or smells marijuana in your vehicle, he or she automatically has probable cause to believe you’ve consumed it illegally. Even if there are no other signs of impairment, that’s enough to arrest you for a DUI.

If you lawfully used marijuana for a medical reason, you can still be convicted of a DUI if the cannabis impaired your abilities to drive safely. If you were arrested for marijuana use but you were not impaired, you will need to work with an experienced Chicago DUI defense lawyer to prove your innocence. Your attorney will strive to show the prosecutor that you did not pose a danger on the road.

Medications Can Cause a DUI

Many people consume drugs other than alcohol and marijuana. Some of these drugs are illegal, controlled substances, but many times they are prescribed or over-the-counter medications. There are a great deal of medications that can alter a person’s abilities. Opioid painkillers are commonly prescribed for people who suffer from acute or long-term pain, but can be unsafe to drive depending on the individual’s reaction. Popular medications like Benadryl for allergies can make people incredibly drowsy.

It is possible to be arrested for a DUI because of the effects of completely legal drugs. The basis of the charge is not necessary the medication you took, but the effect that medication had on your physical and mental capabilities.

Contact a Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer

Facing a DUI based on any reason is a challenge, but it’s particularly scary when you feel like you did nothing wrong. Attorney Michael O’Meara understands that charges can arise from simple mistakes, which is why he will fight tenaciously for your rights in court. As a former prosecutor, Michael O’Meara understands the nuances of DUI charges and offenses. He knows how to work to have your charges dropped or get the best results possible for the situation.

For more information, call Chicago DUI defense lawyer Michael O’Meara at 312-909-0706.