Utah DUI Under Legal Limit .08
If you are like most people, you probably believe that the only way to be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Utah is if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit of .08%; however, you could face drunk-driving charges even if your BAC is below the limit if the officer can prove that your driving ability was impaired by the consumption of alcohol. This type of charge is sometimes referred to as a "less safe" or "common law" DUI.
Fighting a DUI Under the Legal Limit
With a less safe DUI, the prosecution only has to show that your driving was less safe after drinking alcohol. In fact, you could be charged this offense with a BAC as low as .05%. If your BAC was over the legal limit, you could be charged with both a "per se" and less safe offense.
With a less safe DUI charge, the prosecution will often rely on the officer's testimony to show that you were affected by alcohol. The officer may testify that you were weaving while driving or that you failed the field sobriety tests.
The fortunate thing about a less safe charge is that the evidence used during the trial is subjective. If an attorney can get a hold of video evidence from the patrol car, he or she can review your driving patterns before the stop, your behavior while pulled over, and your performance on the field sobriety tests. After examining all of the evidence, your attorney may work with an expert witness to testify on your behalf or challenge the officer's observations in an effort to show reasonable doubt.
Officers are trained to notice a number of "clues" that indicate intoxication; however, these may be caused by other factors. For example, slurred speech and bloodshot eyes could be caused by fatigue or illness, instead of impairment. Low-carb diets can also produce compounds that may smell like alcohol and affect the breathalyzer test. Therefore, any person facing a DUI under the legal limit is advised to speak to a DUI lawyer about their options rather than pleading guilty.
A Utah DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help
Our lawyers will go beyond the police report to find our own evidence in an effort to help your defense.