Having a DUI conviction on your record can have serious consequences for your future employment and education opportunities. Legal limits to the amount of alcohol you can have in your system before driving exist for an important reason, and keep us all safe on the road. But is it possible to receive a conviction even if you had less alcohol in your system than the legal limit?
Crimes you can be charged with
Maryland’s legislature defines the crime of driving under the influence as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. This means that, if the police pull you over and test your breath, and the breathalyzer result is 0.08% or above, you will automatically go to jail and receive a DUI charge.
However, you can also receive a criminal charge for a BAC less than this maximum. For example, if you have a BAC of 0.07%, you could receive a charge for a lesser crime known as driving while impaired.
Defective breathalyzer tests
Police rely heavily on breathalyzer machines to evaluate a person’s level of impairment of purposes of arresting them. However, breathalyzer machines aren’t always accurate. Occasionally, inaccurate readings can lead to someone’s arrest when they might not deserve it.
This means that you have a couple of solid options when it comes to presenting your defense. You could test the accuracy of the breathalyzer machine that the police used on you, if the results seem dubious. Alternately, you might be able to challenge the pretenses under which the police pulled you over and tested you.
No one wants a DUI or DWI conviction on their record. But a charge is not a conviction. You still have the opportunity to strategize with your lawyer to prepare a solid defense to present in court.