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Under legal limit .075 what can i be charged with?

Tacoma, WA |
Attorney answers 4


You may be charged with a DUI even if your blood alcohol level tested below the legal limit. If there is probable cause to believe your driving conduct was impaired by the consumption of alcohol, charges may be filed even if the BAC is below the .08 threshhold. You may also be charged with other inforactions that occurred resulting in the stoop.


In addition to the answer above, it is possible to be charged with Negligent Driving 1st degree, and reckless reckless driving. Normally, the arresting officer will cite you with any charges he or she thinks are appropriate. If you were not charged that night, then the Prosecutor may also file charges later.


On administrative end- Breath test reading listed will not bring about a nightmare of dealing with DOL suspension.

However on the criminal side of a DUI the prosecuting attorney even with a .075 reading can STILL proceed to prosecute you, accuse you of a DUI if in the Officer's opinion the Officer believed that you were still impaired. Depends in how the Officer writes down in the police report about the driving pattern.

Other accusations that could be charged is a Reckless Driving, a gross misdemeanor which comes with a seperate 30 license suspension from DOL. And the other charge could be Negligent Driving 1st Degree, known as a simple misdemeanor.

If there is a clean record. It helps you. And I do hate to tell you this and I am sure you know what I am about to say- you need an attorney skilled in DUI Defense to achieve what you want and minimize the damage that has been presented to you.

I would pick an attorney who is VERY familiar with the court in the jurisdiction you were charged in. I see that you are listed as Tacoma WA, and if that is the locale, I would recommend Barbara Bowden who is exceptional 253-473-4262. Best, Sharon.


One of the biggest misconceptions I run into as an attorney representing those accused of DUI is that there is a "legal limit." People are shocked to find out that you can be charged with a DUI at almost any BAC level. I routinely see .06 and above being charged as DUI all over Washington. I've seen cases as low as .02 that have been filed.

What the .08 limit represents In Washington is the limit above which you are per se too impaired to drive. Below a .08 the Prosecution has the burden of proving (beyond a reasonable doubt) that your ability to drive "was impaired to any appreciable degree." Whether or not the Prosecutor can prove this depends a lot on the facts of the case.

The options for you to be charged with are Negligent Driving in the First Degree, although you would need to have been driving in a negligent manner in addition to exhibiting the effects of having consumed alcohol. Reckless driving is often the result of plea bargaining, but is unlikely to be the originally charged offense, because reckless driving is defined as opertaing a vehicle "in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property."

Bottom line is Prosecutors are becoming increasingly aggressive in charging DUIs below a .08. You will probably be charged with DUI.

On the license side, becuase you blew below the "legal limit? your license will not be suspended by DOL unless you are actually convicted of DUI, Reckless Driving or something that carries a mandatory license supension.