People often think they cannot get a DWI/DUI if their blood-alcohol concentration is below 0.08. This is simply not true. Drivers in Minnesota can be charged with and convicted of DWI/DUI if the prosecution can show of two things: a test result demonstrating a person's blood-alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more OR that a person is driving under the influence of alcohol.
"Under the influence" cases are much more complex than "0.08 or more" cases. The instructions read to the jury in these cases caution that it is not unlawful to drink alcoholic beverages and then drive a motor vehicle. However, the instructions go on to state that when a person is so affected by alcohol that the person does not possess the clearness of intellect and control he or she otherwise would have without consuming alcohol, that person is under the influence and can be convicted of DWI/DUI.
In other words, if a person consumes alcohol and is not influenced by the alcohol (and, of course, is below 0.08), there is no violation of the statute. However, if as a result of consuming alcohol, a person's ability to drive, operate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle is impaired, then the statute has been violated.
The prosecutor attempts to prove "under the influence" cases with evidence such as bad driving conduct, common indicia of intoxication, as well as poor performances during field sobriety tests.
A DWI/DUI case involving a blood-alcohol concentration of less than 0.08 or even slightly above 0.08 is ripe for challenge. If you have been charged in such a case, it is important to contact an attorney right away to review your options. Call Grant Borgen for a free consultation today.