Everyone has heard about the breath test as part of a DUI investigation. While most people know that it’s illegal to drive with a .08 or greater blood alcohol (BAC) content in Oregon, not everyone knows that you can still be arrested and convicted for an alcohol DUI even if you blow well under a .08. We regularly represent people who’ve been arrested after driving with a .07, .06, even a .05 blood alcohol content. A police officer’s standard to arrest you if you are below a .08 is whether “a person’s mental or physical faculties are negatively impacted to a noticeable degree by alcohol or another intoxicant.” What this means is that the officer feels that you’re not as sharp, mentally or physically, as you would have been if you hadn’t drank. This is a loose standard, and is a way that many of the good people we represent find themselves needing our help when they thought they were doing everything right.
The other common misconception is that you have an opportunity to “prove” that you’re under a .08 at the traffic stop. Typically, in Oregon the breath test is most often given at the police station or jail because the breath machine that the state uses isn’t one that is portable. So most often by the time you have the opportunity to blow into the Breathalyzer machine, you have already been arrested for DUI, handcuffed, put into the back of the patrol care and been driven to the police station or jail.
I hope you never need to call us, but if you or someone you care about if facing DUI charges, please contact the Reynolds Defense Firm as soon as possible. As one of our clients wrote after working with us, “It pays to have a good lawyer, but it’s a really sound investment to have a great one.”