The rule that the courts can follow for DUI cases is that someone who is over the legal limit (a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%) can be presumed to be impaired. In other words, that person can claim they were driving safely, but they have still broken the law and can be convicted on DUI charges.
It’s pretty common for people to assume that this means only those who are over 0.08% can get a DUI. They assume this is why the police give out breath tests: If you’re over the limit, you go to jail, but if you’re under the limit, you’re free to go. Is this actually how it works?
If you’re impaired, you can face charges
It’s not. The reality is that being impaired while driving can lead to legal charges. BAC is one way to establish impairment and makes it easier for the court to prove someone was impaired, but it’s not the only way to do it. A person who is under the legal limit and who is nonetheless still impaired could face charges.
For instance, perhaps you failed the field sobriety tests at the scene. The police may claim that this shows your impairment, even if your BAC is 0.07%, and then they can try to get the court to convict you on those charges.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. They still do have to show that you were impaired, and you have every right to fight those charges. In fact, doing so may be easier if your breath test results are in your favor.