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Oct 24, 2014

Can You Be Charged With OUI if Your Breath Alcohol Content is Below a .08%

Sadly, the answer is yes. As we’re all aware, OUI stands for Operating Under the Influence. That’s what we call drunk driving in Maine. In other states they call it DUI for Driving Under the Influence or maybe even DWI for Driving While Intoxicated.

Now, in Maine the law requires that the state prove by proof beyond a reasonable doubt the following: that you are operating a motor vehicle, i.e., a car, and you are either a .08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. Okay, the .08 is standard, or you’re impaired to any degree by alcohol no matter how slight.

Oftentimes people will blow below a .08. Perhaps it’s a .06 or a .07, and the state of Maine will still charge them with Operating Under the Influence even if they haven’t used or were not under the influence of prescriptions or illegal medications. And the reason for that is the standard in the State of Maine concerns not only your breath alcohol content but in the alternative, impairment to any degree.

So under the law if you are between a .05% and a .07% BrAC, there is no presumption of impairment, but that breath alcohol test can still be introduced. If you’re below a .05, expect that you will be given a drug recognition evaluation by a DRE who is an officer that’s “trained” to administer specialized testing to determine if you’re under the influence of narcotics or prescription medications. So, again, this is a very long winded way of saying that in Maine you can, in fact, be charged with Operating Under the Influence of alcohol even if your breath alcohol content is below a .08%



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