After having an alcoholic beverage, you probably feel “buzzed,” which is the colloquial term most people use to say they are only slightly intoxicated. Most people start to feel buzzed after a single beer, shot, or glass of wine. While being buzzed with your friends is one thing, being buzzed while behind the wheel is something else entirely.

It raises the question: “Is buzzed driving drunk driving?” In both legal and safety contexts, buzzed driving is the same as drunk driving. You can get in legal trouble and into a crash while buzzed, just the same as you can while drunk or intoxicated.

Can You Be Arrested for Buzzed Driving?

In most circumstances, you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if you are pulled over and test for a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or greater. At 0.08, you are legally intoxicated and considered unfit for safe driving in any circumstance.

However, you can still be pulled over, arrested, and charged for an alcohol-related driving offense if you are just buzzed and have a BAC under 0.08. As long as you are driving unsafely and have a BAC level above 0.00, you can technically be arrested and charged for drunk driving. To this end, you can absolutely be arrested for buzzed driving.

Is Buzzed Driving Unsafe?

For all practical purposes, buzzed driving is just as unsafe as drunk driving, so you should do your best to never drive while buzzed. The effects of alcohol are fairly unpredictable. Even if you regularly drink, you cannot be certain how the next drink you have will affect you because varying factors like what you ate and drank that day, how much sleep you got the night before, and so on can make big differences in your sobriety.

Any amount of alcohol in your system can cause you to experience:

  • Slowed reaction times
  • Worsened judgment
  • Difficult gauging distances
  • Blurred or “sleepy” vision

If you want to stay out of a drunk driving accident or trouble with the law, then you should never drink and drive. One beer is enough to cause a crash or an arrest!

Defense to Buzzed Driving Charges

If you were arrested for drunk driving but did not have a BAC level over 0.08, then you could have a stronger chance to argue against your charges. The prosecution will have to prove that you were driving unsafely or unfit for operating a motor vehicle, which is more of a subjective argument than an objective one based on your BAC. An experienced drunk driving defense attorney can help build a defense to their strategy and argue that you were not unsafe behind the wheel, despite having a BAC level above 0.00.

Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners handles all sorts of DUI defense cases for clients in Los Angeles, including negligent operator and underage DUI cases. You can also count on us for assistance with DMV hearings to save your license from suspension after a DUI arrest. Contact us today!

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