Impairment isn’t necessary for drunk driving charges

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

Many people who get pulled over for drunk driving in Michigan showed clear signs of impairment before the traffic stop. Maybe they swerved all over the road or failed to maintain a consistent speed. Officers know how to identify the signs of impaired driving.

When police officers suspect someone of intoxication, they can pull that driver over and screen them for signs of impairment. Officers can also sometimes arrest people for drunk driving even if the initial traffic stop was not for alcohol or their driving was not particularly bad. In other words, an officer can arrest you for drunk driving even if the traffic stop did not start over suspicions of impairment.

What is needed for a drunk driving charge?

In Michigan, police officers can arrest you for drunk driving because of how you behave at the wheel and during a traffic stop or because of your chemical test results. Obvious impairment can lead to charges even if you aren’t over the legal limit. Being over the legal limit can lead to charges even if you didn’t display impaired driving skills.

If a breath test determines that you are over the per se limit, the officer will probably arrest you right away. Regardless of the impact on your driving skills, having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit is a crime on its own.

While you may not display poor driving skills when your BAC reaches 0.08%, simply being over the legal limit is grounds for a drunk driving charge even if the officer who arrests you can’t point to clear signs of impaired driving. Learning more about the laws that govern drunk driving charges in Michigan can help if you have been arrested.