Can You Still Be Charged if Your BAC is below .08% in Minnesota?

blog imageThe blood alcohol level in Minnesota is set at .08, a number that’s commonly known by many drivers. However, under some circumstances, it is possible to still face drunk driving-related charges even if you’re under the legal limit – something the Minnesota Department of Public Safety admits. Here’s what you need to know:

0 Tolerance for Under 21 – In Minnesota, drivers under the age of 21 can face penalties for having any level of alcohol above .00 within their systems. While being caught may not necessarily lead to a regular DWI charge, lesser penalties such as license suspensions or misdemeanor charges are possible.

Under Influence of something else – Under Minnesota law, authorities don’t need to show that your BAC was above .08 if you’re found to be under the influence of drugs.

Commercial Vehicles – The threshold is also lower for those driving commercial vehicles. Those driving commercially with a BAC of above .04 can receive a license revocation for an entire year. Meanwhile, they are still free to drive their personal vehicles, unless they’ve exceeded the typical .08 BAC threshold. Getting caught for a second time driving commercially above the .04 limit can result in the revocation of commercial driving privileges for up to 1 year.

Noticeable Impairment – Even if your BAC is under .08, you can still find yourself in legal trouble. This is true in instances where despite your BAC, the officer determines the alcohol has “impaired your ability to drive,” according to a document from the University of Minnesota. An officer may determine this to be the case if you fail a field sobriety test, for example.

If you find yourself in the predicament of facing DWI-related charges even when your BAC is below .08, finding a qualified lawyer is the first step in understanding how you can fight for dismissal.