Can I be arrested for a DUI if my BAC is under the legal limit?

It is natural to assume that you will only be arrested for drunk driving if your breath or blood test shows a high blood alcohol content. However, you and other Pennsylvania residents should know that in some cases, you may get a DUI even if you are not at the legal limit of 0.08%. “Reasonable suspicion” and “probable cause” are terms you should familiarize yourself with.

According to FindLaw, law enforcement needs a reason to pull you over if they suspect you are driving while intoxicated. This is called reasonable suspicion. For example, you may have drifted into the other lane, missed a stop sign or made a wide turn. These, among others, are possible signs of intoxication. After being pulled over, the officer may administer a breath test or ask you to perform a field sobriety test.

Can you be arrested if your breath test does not exceed the legal limit? Probable cause comes into play here. If you did not pass the field sobriety test, you may be arrested even if you are sober, since there are many ways – such as having poor balance – to fail a field sobriety test. The officer may have other reasons to assume you are intoxicated even with a low BAC level.

As you can expect, you may have several reasons to dispute a DUI if your breath or blood test did not show a high alcohol level. Since defending a DUI can be complex, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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