I have a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) under 0.08. I am below the legal limit. Can I still get convicted of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in Philadelphia?
Yes. You can still be convicted of DUI if your BAC is below 0.08. The legal theory is called General Impairment. The main difference in a General Impairment case is that the District Attorney has to prove under the influence with no presumptions. If your BAC is over 0.08, you are presumed to be under the influence. In a DUI case where your BAC is over 0.08, things like field sobriety test, speech pattern, ability to drive, why you were pulled over, what your eyes looked like, what you smelled like, etc., are not really so relevant. However, in a General Impairment case, all of those factors are relevant, and without those factors, there may be a reasonable doubt about whether you were unfit to operate a motor vehicle safely, thereby not guilty. The question is simply whether you were capable of safe driving and that burden of proof is fully on the prosecutor.
(a) General impairment.–
(1) An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.