DUI Per Se v. DUI Less Safe

All DUIs share the common element of driving after consuming a alcohol (or other controlled substances, for example cocaine or pain killers).  The difference in a prosecution are substantial when the prosecutor has a scientific test showing you are over the State’s per se limit of alcohol.  For persons over the age of 21 this is 0.08, for persons under the age of 21 this is 0.02.

In a DUI per se charge, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you were driving the vehicle within three hours of having a blood alcohol content over 0.08.  Generally this is done through a breath test.  In unusual cases the officer may request a blood test or even request a warrant from a judge to forcibly take your blood with consent.  However the state gets the blood alcohol content, it certainly will change the dynamic in how you and your attorney approach defending your case.


In cases where there is no evidence of per se blood alcohol content, for example you refuse to provide a breath sample or there are emergency circumstances that prevented the officer from requesting a sample the state can still go forward with a DUI prosecution.  In this case the prosecutor would have to prove you were the driver, you were under the influence of alcohol, and the alcohol made you less safe or incapable of driving your car safely.

If you are facing a DUI prosecution, reach out for help today.

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