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Below the limit? You could still face charges

You were driving home from an important office dinner when you saw flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You knew it was an officer trying to pull you over; you'd crossed the center line when you looked away from the road for a moment. You quickly corrected yourself, but it was clear even to you that you'd made an error that could make the officer question your ability to drive safely.

Pulling over, you spoke to the officer and gave him what he needed from you. Moments later, you found him asking you to get out of your vehicle for field sobriety tests. He thinks you're intoxicated. You take the field sobriety tests and then he asks you to take a Breathalyzer. The Breathalyzer finds that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .06 percent; it's low enough not to lead to a OWI, but the officer is still arresting you for drinking and driving.

What are your options now?

It's clear that you don't have a BAC high enough to result in a full-blown OWI based on the BAC alone. However, combined with your dangerous driving, troubling findings on the field sobriety tests and the fact that your BAC was .06 percent, he's seeking an OWI.

If you're charged and convicted, you could face a fine of up to $300, and you may lose your license for up to 9 months. There's no requirement for an ignition interlock device, and there is no mandatory jail time for your first OWI. Even though the penalties are generally few, it's in your best interests to fight the charges to protect yourself. Our site has more on what to expect.

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