Recently, several people have asked me how a person can be charged with DUI when his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is under the legal limit of .08. The answer is that the Kansas DUI statute contemplates multiple bases for a DUI charge.

Most DUI charges are based on a driver’s BAC. When one operates a vehicle with a BAC above .08, he has violated the statute per se. To present a case for conviction, the State simply has to show the jury a valid breath or blood test, administered within three hours of the defendant’s operation of a vehicle, registering a BAC above .08.

In Kansas, a driver may also be charged and convicted of DUI if that person, regardless of his or her BAC, cannot safely operate a vehicle. The purported purpose of this segment of the statute is to capture those individuals who are extremely affected by even the smallest amount of alcohol. In these cases, the State must show that, based on the unique facts of the case, the driver was too impaired to operate his or her vehicle.

No matter what your BAC may be, your rights during a DUI investigation remain the same. You have the right to remain silent and avoid providing any statements about how you feel or how much you have had to drink. You also have the right to refuse field sobriety testing.

If you have been charged with DUI, call the DUI Defense Team in Wichita (316-262-9400), Topeka (785-235-9300), and Lawrence (785-856-0143).


By Chris Joseph