We are all aware that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08, but that doesn’t mean you’re always in the clear if you’re not quite at that threshold. Under Minnesota law, you can still be arrested and charged with DWI even if you blow under a 0.08. We explain why that’s the case, and what to do if you’re facing DUI charges in Minnesota in this piece.
BAC Under 0.08
So while the legal threshold is 0.08 for operating a motor vehicle, the actual statute takes the law a bit further. Part of the law talks about the 0.08 mark, stating that a person can be charged with DWI if:
“The person’s alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the motor vehicle is 0.08 or more.”
However, that’s not the only definition. A person can also be charged with DWI if:
“The person is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.”
“Under the influence” is a phrase that is somewhat open to interpretation, but in general, it means that you are under the influence if alcohol impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. In other words, if you’ve only had two drinks and your BAC is 0.06, but you’re slightly dizzy, your vision is affected or your driving abilities are in any way negatively affected by the alcohol, you are technically in violation of Minnesota’s DWI statute.
Arrested With A BAC Under 0.08
So as you can see, although police may check your breath to see if you’re above 0.08, being under that threshold doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re free to drive off. An officer may still conduct some roadside tests to see if your balance or vision seem to be impacted by alcohol or drugs, and if they make that determination, you can be placed under arrest.
So what should you do if you find yourself under arrest for DWI despite blowing under a 0.08? Aside from staying quiet and not helping police build a case against you, one of the first things you should do is contact a legal expert. If you’re on this page because you’re researching information about your case, then you’re moving in the right direction. But feel free to take it a step further and set up a free case review with Avery or another member of his team. Some cases are slam dunks for the prosecution, but others are very weak and they hope you’ll just plead guilty. This is one of the times where the evidence against you is very weak, including the breath test that shows you were under the legal limit. You need to talk to an attorney and fight the case. It’s not always an easy win, but Avery has a great track record of getting these cases greatly reduced or dropped altogether.
If you are facing DWI charges even though you weren’t over the legal limit, reach out to Avery and his team. As we said, the case review is completely free and there is no commitment needed on your end. Obviously we’d like you to hire us and let us defend you in court, but we offer the free case evaluation session in order to help put you at ease and explain what you’re facing. We also share how we’d fight your case from there, but at the end of the day, the next step is yours to take. Set up that free strategy session today and see how Appelman Law Firm can help with your DWI case.