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Why Was I Charged With a DUI in Ventura When My BAC Was Below the Legal Level?


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Someone about to use a breathalyzer

DUI, driving under the influence, is a serious charge and one that can impact your life for a long time. Law enforcement may pull you over for any type of traffic infraction or because of suspicion of DUI. The police have a number of ways to evaluate your behavior to gain a preliminary determination that you are impaired. Some of these include performing field sobriety tests and taking a preliminary breath test (PBT). If you were arrested for DUI you will want to vigorously defend the charges. It is helpful to contact an experienced DUI attorney in Ventura as soon as possible. 

What is the Legal Alcohol Limit in Ventura?

The legal alcohol limit in California is 0.08% BAC for adults age 21 and over. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measurement of the percentage of alcohol in the bloodstream. The number of drinks it can take to reach the legal limit varies greatly from person to person. Preliminary breath tests are done at the traffic stop, however, more reliable tests should be performed at the police station including breath tests, blood tests, and urine tests. All types of tests can vary based on the length of time that has lapsed since your last drink. Generally, it can take 45 minutes or longer for your BAC to reach a peak level after taking a drink. Then, the BAC goes down as the body metabolizes the alcohol. 

Signs of Intoxication

There are a number of signs that may indicate impairment. If you exhibit any of these signs during your traffic stop, the police might arrest you for DUI or on the suspicion of DUI. 

  • Erratic driving
  • Odor of alcohol
  • Drug residue or odor
  • Slurred speech
  • Imbalance; unable to walk a straight line or stand properly
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Failed field sobriety tests

The police can charge you with DUI if you have consumed any amount of alcohol and have exhibited signs of impairment. It is important to note that DUI laws apply to intoxication from all sources including drugs. It is possible to exhibit signs of impairment due to drug use. The same laws apply to impairment regardless of the reason. 

Defending DUI Charges in Ventura

A DUI conviction comes with hefty penalties that may include fines, jail time, alcohol education, probation, driver’s license suspension and more. The consequences can have long-term effects on you and your family. You can defend DUI charges with help from a reputable DUI attorney in Ventura. If you were arrested with a BAC below the limit, the prosecutor will need to prove that you were impaired. A strong defense against the charges is necessary to resolve the matter in the best way possible. Contact an attorney as soon as possible after the incident for the best defense. In some instances, the evidence against you is weak and therefore the state may negotiate a plea deal. Sometimes, the evidence was obtained illegally and cannot be used. Your lawyer will evaluate the case to help guide the process to a successful conclusion. 

If you were charged with DUI in Ventura, do not delay. Contact our skilled legal team at Strongest Defense at (805) 477-0070 for a free initial case evaluation.