The Two Kinds of Drunk Driving

On behalf of Kalberg Law Office L.L.C. April 23, 2020

In Kansas, there are multiple ways to be legally considered a drunk driver. A drunk driving charge may be based on being over the legal limit for alcohol, or it could be based on a driver being unable to drive a vehicle in a safe manner because of alcohol consumption. It’s important for a person facing DUI charges to understand both types of drunk driving offenses.

The Drunk Driving Legal Limit

Kansas law prohibits driving with unlawful bodily alcohol content. Any time a person has a blood alcohol content of over .08 when they drive, they are guilty of drunk driving. It doesn’t matter if the person exhibits poor driving or not. Even without influencing a person’s ability to drive, the blood alcohol content alone is sufficient to make a person in violation of the law.

However, when a person faces a DUI charge strictly on the basis of unlawful bodily alcohol content, it’s important to examine the reasons for the stop. The police must have a lawful, constitutional reason to stop the vehicle. Possible defenses to a charge of unlawful bodily alcohol content include an unlawful vehicle stop and questions about the accuracy of blood alcohol content testing.

Driving Under the Influence as Drunk Driving

Another way to be in violation of Kansas DUI laws is to drive under the influence of alcohol. If, because of the consumption of alcohol, a driver is incapable of operating a motor vehicle in a normal manner, the driver is considered a drunk driver. The penalties are the same for driving under the influence as they are for driving with unlawful bodily alcohol content. Driving under the influence of alcohol may occur at a lower bodily alcohol content than the legal limit of .08.

Fighting Drunk Driving Charges

When a person faces drunk driving charges, they should carefully examine the charges as state officials may charge someone with one or both types of drunk driving. In order to fight the charges, the person’s criminal defense attorney may carefully study the charges and prepare to defend against them.