Covington, KY- If you have been pulled over and an officer suspects you of being drunk, they are going to require you agree to a breathalyzer test. If you happen to be over Kentucky’s legal limit of 0.08, you will be charged with a DUI and will likely be hauled away to jail. Unfortunately for you, the state’s illegal per se law will make it easier for the state to prosecute you.
According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, illegal per se “means it is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.” Illegal per se essentially means the prosecution only need to present the results from a breathalyzer test secure a conviction. They don’t need to actually prove you were impaired only that your BAC exceeded the legal limit and were unfit to drive, only that your blood alcohol concentration exceeded the legal limit.
Illegal per se laws make it very difficult to present an effective defense. Breathalyzers are considered scientifically accurate and can be difficult to challenge but they aren’t infallible and can give inaccurate readings if not regularly maintained or operated properly. Each state uses different breathalyzer tests as long as they are approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so having a local DUI defense lawyer working on your defense is paramount. They will know whether there is a history of accuracy issues with the breathalyzer tests used in your district and, if applicable, can use that in your defense.
Aside from making an effective defense difficult, the illegal per se standard means some Kentuckians face a wrongful DUI arrest and charge. If you suffered from a condition that causes you to register a high blood alcohol content, like diabetes or a rare condition like auto-brewery syndrome, you could be charged with a DUI even if you weren’t actually drunk or intended to drive while impaired.
Kentucky law requires law enforcement to perform a breathalyzer test within two hours of an individual’s arrest. Also important to note is that illegal per se laws are different for each category of driver. The illegal per se limit for commercial truck drivers is 0.04. For drivers under the age of 21, the illegal per se limit is 0.02.
Since illegal per se statutes make DUI cases harder to defend, some motorists decide not to agree to a breathalyzer or blood test. This decision can be a calculated risk since refusing a breathalyzer has a set of consequences which includes immediate suspension of your driver’s license for a year. Not agreeing to a breathalyzer will keep the prosecution from having your BAC but there are still consequences that may end up being worse than a DUI charge you might be able to beat.
You should not take your DUI charge lightly since you risk going to jail, paying thousands in fines and having your drivers’ license suspended. A DUI conviction puts your future in jeopardy and closes many doors. Do the smart thing and retain a DUI lawyer in Covington, Kentucky to work challenge your BAC and explore other options in your defense.
Let USAttorneys connect you with Covington DUI attorney Dean Piscano to assist you with your case. He will carefully evaluate the circumstances of your DUI arrest and decide the best course of action for you to pursue.