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Do You Have to be Drunk To Be Arrested For OWI

Do You Have to be Drunk To Be Arrested For OWI

An OWI isn’t something that most people want to have to deal with. It is not something that most people even think they are going to have to deal with, especially if they have only consumed one or two drinks. The truth is that many people are arrested and charged with OWI that have blood or breath test levels that are far below the level that constitutes being legally drunk. So, how can they be charged with drunk driving?

OWI means operating (a motor vehicle) while impaired. The key word being impaired. You do not have to be legally drunk in order to be impaired behind the wheel. You can consume a small amount of alcohol, well less the amount required to bring your BAC or blood alcohol level at or above that required to be legally drunk. Or, you can be excessively sleepy. Or you can have consumed illegal or prescribed medications. All of these things can cause you to be impaired behind the wheel and result in an OWI charge.

The first thing to understand about OWI laws is that there are two types of OWI. There is OWI and OWI per se. An OWI per se is a law that allows law enforcement to charge you with drunk driving with or without an obvious impairment based on your blood alcohol level alone. If your blood or breath test indicates that your BAC is above the legal limit of .08, then you can be charged, even if you seem to be as competent as someone who has not been drinking at all.

Then there is OWI. An OWI arrest simply requires you to appear to be impaired behind the wheel no matter what your BAC is. This is the law that allows law enforcement to arrest and charge you with OWI even if you do not test above the legal limit for BAC. Here is how it works.

The officer will administer a field sobriety test that is designed to measure your balance, dexterity and spatial awareness. The officer will ask you to perform a series of tests to see whether or not your ability to perform them is in line with someone who has not been drinking. The main issue with this testing is that there is no standard for you to conform to. Your performance is based on the judgement of the arresting officer. If he or she thinks you have been drinking, there is a good chance that you will “fail” your field sobriety test and you will be arrested and charged with OWI. Of course, you may easily beat your case with the help of an experienced OWI lawyer, the damage has been done. This is because your OWI arrest records will be made public by a variety of websites that peddle in such information.

Indiana Arrests in general are on the rise. This is especially true for OWI arrests. If you are someone who is facing an OWI arrest, it is important to hire an attorney today. Click here for More Info.
OWI Indiana Arrests and increasing at an alarming rate.
Marchelle Lamaster

Paul Shaw
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