Legal BAC Limits By State
BAC Definition and State Legal Laws
Blood alcohol content (BAC), also called Blood Alcohol Concentration, is most commonly used as a metric of alcohol intoxication for legal or medical purposes. Blood alcohol content is usually expressed as a percentage of alcohol (generally in the sense of ethanol) in the blood. For instance, a BAC of 0.10 means that 0.10% (one tenth of one percent) of a person's blood, by volume, is alcohol. All 50 states (except AZ - see * below) have now set .08% BAC as the legal limit for Driving Under the Influence. For commercial drivers, a BAC of .04% can result in a DUI conviction nationwide. For those under 21, there is a zero tolerance limit―any amount of alcohol is grounds for a DUI arrest.
*Arizona - You can be charged (and convicted) of DUI in Arizona with any alcohol in the body if you are driving while “impaired to the slightest degree.” A.R.S 28-1381(A)(1). The law creates a presumption of impairment at .08 but if the person’s driving shows signs of impairment they can be convicted of DUI while still being under a .08.
What if you get arrested for DUI?
Should you ever find yourself faced with a DUI arrest, your first step should be to hire the services of a DUI attorney. DUI attorneys and DWI lawyers are highly trained in the DUI and DWI laws of your state, and many times they can lessen your fines or penalties. Being convicted of driving under the influence can impact your life in ways you may not be aware of, including: loss of employment (and the inability to be employed in certain jobs in the future), higher insurance rates, serious financial setbacks, personal and family embarrassment. You may also have that conviction on your driving records for years―if not forever. Whether called a DUI or a DWI in your state, DMV.org shows you what the penalties will be for driving under the influence and how it will affect your driving privilege. They will also lead you to attorneys who specialize in handling drunk driving cases in your state, in case you are looking for legal representation.
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