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Can you be charged with DWI if your BAC is below the legal limit?

| Apr 5, 2021 | DWI

As more bars and restaurants start to open up in New Jersey, people may be imbibing a couple drinks at happy hour or taking a date out to a nice meal and a bottle of wine. However, this does not mean that police in the state will not continue to take drunk driving seriously. It is important to note that in New Jersey, you do not have to have a blood-alcohol concentration above the legal limit to be charged with DWI.

DWI laws in New Jersey

In New Jersey, as in all other states in the nation, if a person has a BAC of 0.08% or above, he or she can be charged with DWI. However in New Jersey, if a person has a substantial deterioration or diminution of their mental faculties or physical capability due to the effects of an intoxicating liquor, that person could also be charged with DUI, on the basis of observation.

BAC effects

Most people understand why having a BAC at or above the legal limit can impair their driving. However, a driver can be impaired even at a BAC below the legal limit. For example, at a BAC of 0.05% you may find it more difficult to track moving objects and steer your vehicle. Your coordination may be negatively affected, and you may have a reduced response time. Even if your BAC is a mere 0.02%, you may still find it difficult to rapidly track moving objects and divide your attention between two tasks. If the police observe you driving unsafely due to alcohol use, they may arrest you on suspicion of DWI.

Learn more about DWI in New Jersey

Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those in New Jersey who want to learn more about DWI are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.