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Understanding BAC

Blood alcohol concentration, commonly called BAC by law enforcement officials, attorneys, and members of the court, is one of the most serious factors in any DUI case in Maine. It can affect the outcome of the case in one or more of several different ways, depending on the individual circumstances. Driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol is a serious offense in Maine, and issues such as your BAC can only complicate matters, and not in a positive way in most cases.

Refusal to Submit

Although it may not seem related to BAC initially, refusing to allow the arresting officer to test your BAC can have very harsh consequences when it comes to the sentencing phase later. Maine is an Implied Consent state, meaning that if you drive on a Maine roadway, you consent to allow officers to check your BAC if they have a reasonable belief that you are driving while under the influence of alcohol or any type of drug, even your own prescription. Refusing to allow officers to test your BAC because you are afraid that you are over the legal limit is no excuse for violating the Implied Consent statute.

Aggravating Factors

An over-the-limit BAC is considered a negative factor in the prosecution's case against you. It is upgraded to an aggravating factor if your BAC is more than double the state's legal limit, which is currently .08% in Maine. Aggravating factors can lead to increased minimum penalties, especially if multiple aggravating factors exist at the same time. In some cases, they can also lead to additional punishments, depending on the factor and the individual circumstances of the crime.

Minor DUI Case

Individuals under the legal drinking age (currently 21 in Maine) face increased penalties if they have an elevated BAC. In fact, according to Maine's Zero Tolerance Policy, those with any alcohol present in their blood at all face additional fines and/or punishments, regardless of the circumstances. Laws and statutes such as this one were created with the intention of avoiding underage drinking, and curbing the number of repeat offenders that are minors in Maine.

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