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Different BAC levels could have impact on drunk driving charges

Throughout the state of Ohio individuals get behind the wheel to drive after consuming alcohol. While often those people are completely fine to drive, in other situations, they may have had enough to push their blood alcohol content into a range that is against the law.

In Ohio, it is likely well known that the legal BAC limit is below, 0.08 percent. Readers may not be aware that there are other BAC percentages that are relevant.

The 0.08 percentage is actually considered the “Per Se” BAC limit. What this means is that the driver does not need to be acting as though he or she is intoxicated nor does there need to be any other evidence of intoxication for that person to be considered legally drunk.

When someone’s BAC is 0.17 percent, he or she has met the enhanced penalty limit and may be charged with aggravated DUI. This could mean one of two things. First, the person may be charged at a higher level. In the alternative, if convicted, the accused could face more severe penalties.

The acceptable BAC for someone who is under the age of 21 is also different. Though is it referred to as zero tolerance, the BAC percentage is actually 0.02. The lower range is designed to discourage underage individuals who cannot legally purchase or possess alcohol anyway, from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle to drive if they have consumed any at all.

There is no question that the criminal justice system is complex. For someone who is navigating it for the first time, this is particularly true. Accordingly, those who find themselves in that situation would likely benefit from working with a criminal defense lawyer.

Source: FindLaw, “Ohio OVI (DUI) Laws,” Accessed Nov. 21, 2014

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