Every resident of Portland is a unique individual. They have different physical characteristics and emotional responses. The ways in which they take in and process information and substances can be very different because of their individual characteristics.

This is true even when it comes to alcohol. A large man and a small woman may drink the same amount and type of alcohol over the same amount of time and demonstrate significantly different levels of intoxication based on their unique features. However, under the law Oregon has recognized .08% as the per se blood alcohol concentration for intoxicated driving. This post will discuss per se intoxication in the context of drunk driving arrests, but no part of this post should be read as specific legal advice.

Defining per se intoxication

As stated, the per se intoxication level of .08% is Oregon’s threshold for drunk driving. Once a driver reaches that threshold, they are considered too drunk to safely drive and therefore intoxicated. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors generally do not have to secure additional evidence of intoxication to seek convictions based on per se drunk driving arrests.

Arrests below the .08% threshold

Having the .08% threshold does not mean that an individual with a lower BAC will not be arrested for a drunk driving crime. Rather, to arrest and convict someone with, for example, a BAC level of .06%, other forms of proof may have to be proffered to justify the actions of law enforcement officers. Observations of affected driving, slurred speech, smells of alcohol in the vehicle, and others may all be forms of evidence used to demonstrate intoxication in a driver with a BAC below .08%.

A driver’s BAC level is an important factor when they are stopped and suspected of drunk driving. Men and women who are facing drunk driving charges do not have to deal with their legal battles alone. Attorneys who represent DUI clients in Oregon are prepared to support those who hope to overcome their drunk driving charges.