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Can You Get a DUI With a BAC Under the Legal Limit?

  • By: MMM
  • Published: July 7, 2022

Any time law enforcement officers suspect a drunk driver, they use different methods to confirm their suspicions. Using a breathalyzer is a standard method of checking a driver’s level of intoxication if any. However, scoring under the legal limit does not guarantee a driver is free from a DWI offense in New Hampshire. Collectively, a police officer’s judgment, along with field sobriety tests and their general questioning, may result in a driver’s arrest for driving under the influence. 

If an officer determines a driver is operating a vehicle intoxicated despite a BAC that says otherwise, many drivers find themselves arrested under an officer’s presumed judgment. With a skilled New Hampshire DWI attorney on your case, you may be relieved of the DWI charge when the prosecution lacks foundation and significant evidence in your case. Our trusted attorneys at Shepherd & Hayes Law Firm are dedicated to helping our DWI clients by fighting aggressively for their rights and a better future. 

What Is a DUI in New Hampshire?

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in New Hampshire. A DWI crime is punishable by monetary fines, jail time, license suspension or revocation, and other life changes, even in a first offense. Under New Hampshire’s DUI law, no one should drive or attempt to drive any boat or motor vehicle while: 

“…such person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any controlled drug, prescription drug…such person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or in the case of a person under the age of 21, 0.02 or more…” 

If a police officer pulls you over to the side of the road and suspects that you are under the influence, you may be questioned about your whereabouts and subjected to a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. Whether you may be operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol or producing a BAC higher than the legal limit, an officer may find a lawful reason to make an arrest. In these cases, it is crucial to understand how a breathalyzer result plays a role in a DUI case and what your legal rights are. 

Does a Breathalyzer Result Determine a Guilty Verdict in a DWI Case?

The breathalyzer is used in many states in an attempt to combat drunk driving and the occurrence of severe accidents they typically cause. Surprisingly, a BAC under the legal limit does not conclude that a driver is not under the influence, and many police officers default to their judgment while making a drunk driving arrest. Standardly, a high BAC result is against the law and gives the legal right for an officer to make an arrest. 

Conversely, a regular BAC reading that does not indicate an illegal activity behind the wheel is not always enough for an officer to let a driver go on their way. In a courtroom, the prosecution may typically pin a high BAC breathalyzer reading collected at the time of an arrest as the basis for a conviction. Although, when a legal BAC reading is presented in a DUI case, there may not be sufficient evidence to prove wrongdoing and enforce penalties. Additionally, breathalyzer tests don’t always produce accurate results, as there are varying regulatory and maintenance efforts necessary to help prove the accuracy and effectiveness of each device. 

If a driver refuses to take a breathalyzer or field sobriety test, they may be subject to the penalty of a license suspension for up to two years, depending on the number of offenses accumulated. Whether in the case of a breathalyzer refusal or an arrest despite a legal BAC reading, a driver has the right to remain silent and request to speak to their attorney for legal support.

What if I Am Arrested for a DWI Despite Having a Legal BAC in New Hampshire?

When you are arrested despite producing a legal BAC reading during a traffic stop or while operating a motor vehicle, it is essential to understand how a criminal defense attorney may help. Facing the consequences and challenges that DUI convictions may bring is not easy to experience. However, with a knowledgeable attorney that has years of experience in refuting the prosecution’s claims and protecting clients’ rights in a DUI case, you may find a favorable outcome for your future.

How Does a DWI Lawyer Help Me After an Arrest?

In a DUI case where an individual is facing penalties despite having a legal BAC reading, a specialized criminal defense attorney may be able to help in many ways. While the court may appoint an attorney to represent you, there are advantages to selecting a lawyer with ample experience and specialty regarding your DUI case. 

A DUI lawyer helps you by reviewing every aspect of the events leading to your arrest, analyzing how police officers performed an arrest, the accuracy of field sobriety tests, and other vital aspects of your case. Experienced attorneys are also familiar with the prosecution’s analysis and defense in working to ensure that penalties are enforced. With a skilled legal team on your case, you may be able to recover your driving privileges, lessen any penalties, and feel at ease throughout the court case.  

Speak With a Knowledgeable Attorney at Shepherd & Hayes Law Firm After a Wrongful DWI Arrest 

Shepherd & Hayes Law Firm brings years of experience, dedication, and trustworthy credibility to criminal defense cases throughout New Hampshire. As a top-rated criminal defense office that develops aggressive and successful defenses for varying criminal charges, you may benefit from partnering with our attorneys Justin C. Shepherd, Esq. and Justin Paul Hayes, Esq.

To have your DUI case reviewed and navigated in the right direction, complete a contact form or give us a call at (603) 233-1626 to schedule a free consultation. 

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