Is “Buzzed Driving” the Same as Drunk Driving in Indiana?

Some drivers attempt to draw the line between what they call “buzzed driving” and drunk driving. They insist that being buzzed isn’t the same as being drunk and that they can safely operate their vehicles. However, this is a dangerous and false belief that could land you in jail.

At Rathburn Law Office P.C., we want to protect your legal rights on Indiana’s roads and highways. It starts with helping you understand the basics of the state’s DUI/OWI laws. In the event you do find yourself facing drunk driving charges, reach out to us today. Having an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer on your side is crucial.

It’s Just Buzzed Driving, Right?

Many drivers believe they are okay to operate their vehicles if they’re simply buzzed and “not really drunk.” But buzzed driving is drunk driving in the eyes of the law. If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving, then you are impaired.

You could still get into an accident and cause death, injury, or property damage. You could still drive your vehicle in a way that is unsafe for others around you. That means you can still be criminally charged for your actions.

Indiana DUI

But Doesn’t My Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Have to Be Over 0.08%?

Not necessarily. It is true that 0.08% is the legal limit to drive. But Indiana law allows a driver to be arrested and charged with DUI/OWI if the person is impaired. That means you can face criminal penalties even if your BAC is otherwise under the legal limit. This is where many drivers get in trouble with so-called buzzed driving. Although they may have been under the limit, they were intoxicated and therefore should not have been driving.

Bear in mind, also, that different rules apply to commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21. The legal limit is 0.02% for drivers who are under the age of 21. Meanwhile, the driver of a commercial vehicle (e.g. a semi truck) cannot legally operate the vehicle above 0.04%. These drivers could theoretically be buzzed with a BAC that is much lower than 0.08% and be criminally charged.

What Should I Do to Avoid a Drunk Driving Charge?

If you feel intoxicated to any degree, even if you feel “just buzzed,” do not drive. Getting behind the wheel without the ability to safely drive is a crime. If you are pulled over and given a field sobriety test, you may fail and be arrested. Worse, if you get into an accident, you may face even more serious penalties.

To protect yourself, arrange for someone else to drive instead. Plan for a designated driver, call a friend to pick you up, or call a taxi or rideshare driver. Another option is to stay at a friend’s house until you are sober and can legally drive again. Regardless, it would be a serious mistake to drive while you are impaired.

We’re Here to Represent You If You Are Charged With an Indiana DUI/OWI

If you have already been charged with drunk driving, it’s time to call an Indianapolis DUI/OWI attorney. This is where Rathburn Law Office P.C. comes in. We can explore ways to handle your drunk driving charges and potential sentencing options. You may be able to work out a plea bargain that could result in less severe criminal penalties.

To get started defending yourself in an Indiana DUI case, call our office today.

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With over 25 years of experience, Rathburn Law is your ideal choice. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, Reach out to us today!