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What is the legal BAC limit if you’re 18?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2023 | DUI/DWI

If you ask someone what the legal limit is in Missouri, odds are that they will tell you it is 0.08%. This is the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that you cannot exceed as a driver. If you meet or exceed that level, and a police officer can show it with a breath test, he or she can arrest you for impaired driving.

This is not the only way to be arrested. You can face arrest even if you are under the legal limit, but then the police have to provide other evidence to show that you were impaired by the alcohol that you consumed. Always remember that being impaired is what is illegal, even if you are slightly off of that statistical limit.

That being said, what if you’re just 18 years old? Do you still have the same legal limit as everyone else?

No tolerance laws

As you may have guessed, you do not have the same legal limit. Missouri is actually a zero-tolerance state, as many states are. This means that absolutely no alcohol is allowed for anyone under 21, and so an underage driver can be given charges even if only a small amount of alcohol is discovered. The government succinctly puts it like this:

“If you are under 21, your license will be suspended if you’re caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in your system.” 

This means that an individual who simply takes a sip of a drink could already be running the risk of being arrested for impaired driving. That sip isn’t going to make them a worse driver, of course, but they may be in violation of the law. If you find yourself in this position, you need to know what legal steps to take.