Understanding a Per Se DUI Arrest
Most people are familiar with the term “per se,” which in Latin translates to “by itself.” While it’s often used in casual conversation, when the term is applied to DUI cases by law enforcement, the use of “per se” is anything but casual. If you’re arrested on per se DUI charges, it’s important to know the significance of the difference between that and a standard DUI. A per se arrest can have legal consequences that can include jail time and serious fines. If you’re facing a per se DUI arrest, you need to hire a DUI defense attorney to pursue an alternative outcome.
Per Se DUI
DUI by itself is a misdemeanor offense, but it’s a costly crime that not only can lead to jail time, but also the requirement that you take extensive driver’s education courses, and the potential for losing your driving privileges.
A law enforcement officer can arrest you for DUI using any of the following as evidence:
- You’re driving a vehicle under the influence or in actual physical control. Actual physical control exists even if someone has the keys or the capability of driving and operating the vehicle.
- You swerve, drive excessively below or above the speed limit, have the smell of alcohol about you, or exhibit behavior that might indicate impairment.
- A witness can corroborate that you were seen driving recklessly.
The offense of per se DUI, however, is different. Per se DUI laws apply to the level of alcohol in a driver’s blood, but it doesn’t require proof that the driver was impaired by alcohol or other substances they ingested. It simply prohibits driving with a BAC of .08 or more. In other words, that means having a .08 BAC by itself means you’re guilty of driving while intoxicated, since with a per se DUI, you’re either above the legal limit or not.
Understanding the Legal Limit
One major issue with per se DUI is that it’s not an exact science. In many instances, a false positive can lead to someone having a BAC that’s above the legal limit.
Some false positives include the following:
- Elevated stomach acid levels at the time of testing
- A testing device that was improperly calibrated
- Contaminated testing devices
- Various health conditions and types of medications
If any of these variables was present at the time of testing, it’s very likely your per se DUI will be thrown out in court, but only an experienced per se DUI attorney can make a compelling case on your behalf.
Hire Experienced Per Se DUI Lawyers
At the Umansky Law Firm, we’ve defended countless clients who have been arrested on charges of per se DUI. We have the team that can fight for you confidently and ensure that you get the best representation possible. Led by the husband and wife team of Zahra and William D. Umansky, our Orlando-based lawyers bring more than 100 years of combined legal experience to the table. We are members of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and sit on the Executive Council of the Orange County Bar Association. We provide a thorough defense and personalized attention to each and every case. Give us a call or complete our online contact form today.