Having a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or over .08% will get you arrested for DWI. However, you can still be arrested for drunk driving even if your BAC is under this limit if an officer feels you are a danger to yourself and other motorists.
Some states can charge you with a DWI even if you are not driving but it can be inferred that you had been driving under the influence. You may be arrested if a police officer can determine you had been recently driving depending on if your vehicle is on or off the roadway, where the driver is positioned in the vehicle, whether the keys are in the ignition, and the operability of the vehicle.
The Three Sobriety Metrics
Police officers tend to use three observable metrics to determine if a driver is intoxicated—field evidence, driver evidence, and blood-alcohol evidence. Field evidence can come from witnessing the suspect's driving, their conduct or appearance, the results of a field sobriety test, or incriminating statements made by the driver.
Common symptoms of intoxication visible on the driver are disheveled clothes, unkempt hair, bloodshot or glassy eyes, flushed face, alcohol on the breath, or slurred speech.
The driver's blood alcohol content can be determined by way of either a breathalyzer test, blood test, or urine sample. These tests can give a reading of a driver's blood alcohol content, which if at .08% or higher, can result in a DWI.
These results are not always perfect, however, and a criminal defense attorney from Deandra M. Grant can contest the results in court if the tests or observations were made improperly or incorrectly. An attorney will also be aware of what constitutes a legal stop by police officers. If any of these factors are not to code, your charges case can be thrown out.