How drunk or high does someone have to be before he can be convicted of operating under the influence (OUI)?

If the substance you consumed impairs your physical or mental faculties however slightly then you can be convicted of OUI. Many people will reach this level before they are consider drunk or high.

At trial the jury will be instructed as follows: “A person is guilty of operating under the┬áinfluence or with an excessive blood alcohol content if the State proves beyond a reasonable doubt that:
1. The defendant operated a motor vehicle, and
2. At the time of operation the defendant:
— had a blood alcohol content of.08 percent or more, or
— was under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

State law does not prohibit drinking and driving; the question is whether someone was under the influence. A person is under the influence if that person’s senses–their physical or mental faculties–are impaired, however slightly, or to any extent by the alcohol that person had to drink. The State does not have to prove that the person was falling down drunk, the State need only prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person’s physical or mental faculties were impaired however slightly or to any extent by the alcohol that person had to drink [or the combination of alcohol the person had to drink with medications that the person had taken.

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