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Effects Of Alcohol And Implications For Delaware DUI Cases


You already know that Delaware law is tough on drunk driving, but you may not give much thought to the reasons why. In short, officials realized decades ago that consumption of high amounts of alcohol affects the human body in extreme ways. Therefore, Delaware’s drunk driving statute imposes a limit on how much you can drink and still be legally allowed to drive; the focus is your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as measured by a breath, blood, or urine test. If your BAC is above the legal limit of .08 percent, you could be arrested.

However, Delaware also empowers police to charge you with DUI if you are under the influence of alcohol to the point of impairment. The assessment is very subjective and is based upon officers’ impressions, which focus on the visible, obvious signs of drunkenness. These cases can be very complex and different from drunk driving charges based upon BAC, so hiring a Wilmington driving under the influence (DUI) lawyer is critical. Knowing what alcohol does to the human body will help you understand how you could be arrested in the absence of BAC evidence.

Your Body at Different BAC Levels 

You know that your BAC will be higher the more you drink, but may not be as familiar with what is going on in your body when your BAC hits a certain level. Even after a single alcoholic beverage, you will start to feel warm and relaxed. Your judgment is slightly impaired, and your vision is affected. The implications worsen with additional drinks, so: 

  • A BAC of .05 percent could lead to difficulties focusing on objects, reduced muscle coordination, and exaggerated gestures. Your reaction time increases, so you may not be able to respond to an urgent traffic issue.
  • The legal limit of .08 percent renders a driver unable to identify dangers, which means you cannot maneuver to avoid them. Judgment, motor skills, balance, and concentration are diminished.
  • After several drinks, your BAC could reach .15 percent or more. Muscle movement and control is poor, and you could experience significant problems with balance.

Delaware DUI Laws and Defenses 

Regardless of whether drunk driving charges are based upon BAC or impairment, you face up to 12 months in jail and a fine ranging from $500 to $1,500. For a first-time offense. Plus, your driver’s license will be suspended for 12 months.

However, if your DUI charges are related to impairment, your defense strategy may be different. You will not be fighting the results of a chemical test, but rather the impressions of police officers during the roadside stop. Your goal would be to disprove their subjective opinions and raise a shadow of a doubt in the judge’s mind.

Consult with a Delaware DUI Defense Attorney About Your Rights 

If you are facing drunk driving charges, please call 302.600.1262 or go online to reach the Wilmington, DE offices of Attorney Michael W. Modica right away. We can schedule a consultation to review the facts of your case and determine strategies for obtaining a favorable outcome.


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