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When doesn't the .08 limit apply with drunk driving?

For as long as you can remember, you have heard that the blood alcohol concentration limit is .08 for drivers in Maryland. Even if you think your ability to drive was not impaired, if your BAC is over the limit, you can get arrested for drunk driving.

But are there any cases where this limit does not apply? There are. Here are three examples:

Driving while impaired

Some states use driving while impaired (DWI) to mean the exact same thing as driving under the influence, but Maryland does not. The DUI limit is .08, but the DWI limit is .07. It is considered a "less severe crime."

Commercial drinking and driving

Commercial drivers can actually get a DUI when they have a BAC that is over .04. The limit is set far lower for them -- half of what it is for most drivers -- to hold them to a high standard. After all, commercial drivers are on the road more often and drive larger, more dangerous vehicles.

Underage drinking

A "zero tolerance" policy is used in Maryland for those who drink and drive when they are under 21 years old. The term "zero tolerance" is a bit misleading, as the BAC limit is actually set at .02 percent. Still, that is so low that even a very small amount of drinking can lead to a DUI arrest, on the grounds that the person should not have had anything to drink.

Are you facing DUI charges under one of these laws? If so, especially if you did not know you could get a DUI while under .08, it is important to look into all of your legal defense options.

Source: FindLaw, "What Are the Maryland DUI Laws?," accessed April 26, 2018

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