Washington State DUI law sets the legal limit for alcohol at .08 if you’re 21 or older. There is talk in Olympia about lowering this limit. Setting a legal limit implies drivers can legally drive with some amount of alcohol in their body, but it can be confusing. Drivers with any alcohol in their system are at risk of jail, fines, license suspensions and more, no matter how much they’ve consumed.

The legal limit simply means you’re presumed to be impaired if you’re over the limit. However, there is no “reverse presumption” that you’re safe to drive when you’re under the legal limit. Even a breath test or blood test below the legal limit, law enforcement can still arrest you. From there, you could be charged with DUI, Negligent Driving First Degree or even a felony, like Vehicular Assault or Vehicular Homicide.

It’s not always easy to know when you’re over the legal limit. The old “one beer per hour rule” gives folks some guidance. This rule presumes you’re consuming one 12 ounce standard beer (approximately 4% alcohol) per hour. A pint of your favorite IPA (typically 6% alcohol or higher) requires even more time for your body to process. The safest plan is for someone who hasn’t consumed any alcohol to drive you home.

There are different limits for Driving Under the Influence Under 21 Years of Age or Baby DUI. If you’re under 21, then the legal limit for alcohol is .02. This is approximately how much the average person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) will rise after one standard beer.

If you or someone you care about are facing a DUI or any other criminal charge, let the experienced attorneys at Cooney Law Offices explain your options and guide you to the best possible resolution. Cooney Law Offices. We can help!