Operating a vehicle while intoxicated, commonly referred to as OWI or DUI, is illegal in Indiana and frequently results in arrests. If you are pulled over by a police officer who suspects that you might be operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will likely be subjected to a field sobriety test and a breath test.
If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, you can expect to be arrested for OWI. But what happens if your BAC doesn’t meet the .08 percent threshold? Can you still be arrested for a suspected DUI? Continue reading to learn more.
Refusing the Breathalyzer
Under Indiana law, all drivers have agreed that they are subjecting themselves to the possibility of undergoing chemical testing of the breath, urine, or blood to determine whether they’ve been operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is known as the implied consent law.
Failure to agree to a breath test once you’ve been pulled over renders you in violation of the implied consent law and is punishable by a one-year suspension of your drivers license.
If you have a prior OWI conviction and refuse a breath test, you can expect to have your license suspended for a minimum of two years.
When Your BAC Is Irrelevant
You can be sure that, if you take a breath test and your BAC is at or exceeds .08 percent, you’ll be arrested for DUI. However, you can also be arrested for an OWI even if your BAC is under .08 percent. Chances are that, if you are pulled over for a suspected OWI, it’s because the law enforcement officer has reason to believe you were intoxicated while operating the motor vehicle.
Maybe you were driving erratically, speeding, or not holding to your lane—whatever the case, the police officer who pulled you over likely did so because he or she didn’t believe it was safe for you to be operating your vehicle. If you pass the breath test but fail field sobriety tests, or if your breath smells of alcohol, law enforcement officers have the right to arrest you.
Once at the precinct, you can expect to be asked to submit to a urine or blood test that will again test your BAC and give a more definitive result.
Get in Touch with a Terre Haute DUI Lawyer
If you were recently arrested for a suspected OWI with a blood alcohol content of less than .08 percent, contact a Terre Haute OWI lawyer at Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm today. We’ll build you a solid defense against this subjective charge and help you minimize any punishments you may face.
We are proud to offer no-commitment consultations to all of our new clients. To schedule yours, simply fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page or give our firm a call at 1-812-232-7400.