Legal Drinking Limit

The legal limit for most DUI cases is .08% BAC. However, it is still possible to be convicted of DUI even if you’re under the legal limit.

Many drivers believe that there is a set “legal limit” for how much alcohol you can have in your system behind the wheel. In some ways this is true. However, the legal limit is deceptive, because it’s different for some driver than it is for others, and because there are ways you can be convicted of DUI even if you’re within the limit.

In California, the legal limit for most drivers is .08% BAC. This can be tested with a breath test, blood test or urine test.

The legal limit for other drivers is:

  • .01% (any detectable alcohol) for a driver under 21 to face non-criminal penalties
  • .04% for a driver who holds a CDL
  • .04% for a driver who is currently on DUI probation
  • .05% for a driver under 21 to face full criminal DUI penalties

Being under the legal limit doesn’t mean a DUI charge won’t stick. You could still be convicted if the prosecution proves you were impaired. If you were impaired by the alcohol while driving, it doesn’t matter exactly how much was in your system. But it’s much harder for prosecutors to prove this—if you are within the legal limit, or even just close to it, there’s a good chance that a DUI lawyer can win your case for you.

Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.

Related Frequently Asked Questions