What You Need to Know About Blood Alcohol Charts in Washington State

Blood alcohol chart

When we consume alcohol, our blood alcohol level increases. We measure our blood alcohol concentration or blood alcohol content for legal or medical purposes. Blood alcohol level charts are useful for understanding the legal limit and whether we are likely to exceed it and thus risk being charged with DUI.

As criminal defense lawyers in Washington State, we help people every day who have been charged with DUI. You do not have to face a DUI charge alone!

What You Need to Know About Blood Alcohol Charts in Washington State

Non-commercial drivers, age 21 and over:

In Washington State, the legal alcohol limit for non-commercial drivers age 21 and above is 0.08. That means that anyone in this group with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is considered legally drunk and too impaired to drive.

Under Washington State statute RCW 46.61.502, if you are driving with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater within two hours of the time you were pulled over, you can be arrested for DUI.

Commercial drivers:

Commercial drivers have a legal blood alcohol limit of 0.04. In Washington State, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.

A commercial driver may be arrested for DUI if they are driving with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater within two hours of the time they were pulled over. 

Minors:

There is no legal blood alcohol limit for drivers under the age of 21, which means that they could be considered drunk and too impaired to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

Under Washington State statute RCW 46.61. 503, if you are under the age of 21 and either driving or in physical control of a motor vehicle with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater within two hours of the time you were pulled over, you can be arrested for Minor DUI.

Did you know?

·        Drivers in Washington State can be arrested on suspicion of DUI alone. That’s right, even if you blow below .08 alcohol concentration, an officer may still charge you with DUI if they suspect that you are driving under the influence.

·        Refusal to take a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) test in Washington State results in a one-year automatic suspension of your driver’s license and evidence of your refusal can be used against you in court.

·        Under RCW 66.44.270, it is a crime to sell, give, or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of 21 or permit any person under that age to consume liquor on their premises or on any premises under their control.

Click here to learn about penalties for driving drunk in Washington State.

Can a blood alcohol test be wrong?

Yes, Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) or breathalyzer test results aren’t always right. In some cases, inaccurate results can lead to people being charged and convicted of a crime they never committed.

The most common causes of inaccurate BAC test results are:

·        Poorly maintained equipment

·        Defective equipment

·        Human error in administering the test

·        The way your body reacts to the test. For example, people on low carb diets, or who have recently brushed their teeth or vomited, may be more likely to have higher test results.

Mount Vernon Criminal Defense Lawyer Since 2010

We understand that being charged with a crime is a stressful and upsetting situation. Having an aggressive advocate in your corner who can offer legal guidance and craft a strategic, practical approach to your case is so important. The experienced Mount Vernon criminal defense lawyer at Fields Law Office provides legal representation to criminal defense clients in Skagit, Island, and Whatcom Counties.

Sharon Fields is a highly skilled, results-driven criminal defense attorney with a tremendous drive to achieve justice, guided by her commitment and passion for your rights. Learn more about Fields Law.