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Zero tolerance means the 0.08% BAC limit doesn’t always apply

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% is the legal limit for most drivers in Texas and across the United States. You can be arrested on DWI charges below this, but it’s used as a benchmark by which intoxication can be assumed. If you’re below that number, you may not be impaired, even if you don’t have a BAC of 0.00%.

People often think that staying below this limit is all they need to do to avoid arrest. However, those who are under 21 years old — and considered “minors” by the state under DWI laws – need to know that the standard limit does not apply to them.

Any detectable alcohol

The reason for this is that Texas has a “zero tolerance” policy for young drivers. If a test can detect any amount of alcohol at all, someone who is under 21 can face DWI charges. Purchasing and consuming alcohol is illegal for those under 21, so the law is especially tough on these young drivers.

This means that even one relatively small decision can have a drastic impact on someone’s life. A 20-year-old who has a single beer while watching a football game with friends could face DWI charges if they’re pulled over while driving home. They may argue that they’re not impaired and that they didn’t cause a crash, but their age means they can still be arrested.

What defense options do you have?

If you’re in this situation, it’s stressful and you’re worried about your future. Make sure that you know what legal defense options you have as you are facing these charges.