The per se limit for alcohol consumption is the limit at which all people are considered too impaired to drive. This limit was put into place to make sure that those who are impaired can be removed from the roads and arrested for drunk driving.
The per se limit is the limit at which the police need no further evidence to arrest you for driving while intoxicated. Below this limit, officers may want to collect more evidence, such as receipts from a bar, your field sobriety test results and others.
The per se limit matters, because it’s misleading
Many drivers mistakenly believe that if they stay under the per se limit, they’ll avoid a DUI. That is not actually true at all.
Even if you have no alcohol in your system, it’s possible to be arrested for a DUI if you are showing signs of intoxication and impairment. That’s why it’s also possible to be arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs or medications.
While the per se limit goes create standard level at which the authorities don’t need additional evidence to arrest you, any officer with evidence to show that you were driving dangerously and appear impaired can still arrest you for a DUI.
What should you do if you’re arrested and were over the per se limit?
If you were over the per se limit, then the officers may not have additional evidence against you. In a way, this could make your case easier, because you just have to challenge one type of test result.
On the other hand, most officers do have you perform field sobriety tests along with Breathalyzer tests, so there is enough evidence to back up the arrest.
Remember your rights during any DUI traffic stop
Remember, you should not say or do anything that could indicate that you were driving drunk. You don’t have to say that you came from a bar or that you’ve had something to drink. Staying silent will help you avoid complications with your case and could make it possible to have the charges lowered or dropped.