Operating With PAC Charges 

Operating With PAC Charges

You will get citations for operating while intoxicated (OWI), and operating with prohibited blood alcohol concentration (PAC) if you are arrested for drunk driving.  An OWI and a PAC are two separate charges but they are usually paired together. A PAC charge relies on the results of your BAC tests while an OWI charge is determined mainly by the observations of the police officer that arrested you.

Prohibited Blood Alcohol Concentration (PAC)

Unlike an OWI, PAC can only be determined by testing your alcohol blood concentration. You cannot be charged with a PAC based only on a police officer’s observation of drunken behavior. But you can be charged with an OWI based on you presenting behavior that suggests that you are drunk.

Operating With PAC ChargesOperating With PAC 1st, 2nd, 3rd

People driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more face a PAC charge. You should know that .08% is only the prohibited blood alcohol concentration for a first, second and third OWI offense conviction.

Operating With PAC 4th

For a fourth or any subsequent OWI offenses, the prohibited blood alcohol concentration is .02%.

Remember you will be charged with an OWI if you get a PAC charge. Another difference between PAC and OWI is that PAC only involves alcohol and no other substance. But you can get an OWI charge for alcohol and other intoxicants such as:

  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription pain killers
  • Opiods such as heroin
  • Methamphetamine

Penalties For A PAC Charge

The penalties for a PAC charge are similar to those of an OWI. Some of the penalties that you can get for either a PAC or OWI conviction include:

  • Expensive fines
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Suspended or revoked driver’s license
  • An alcohol assessment

Despite the fact that you will face these two charges if you are arrested for drunk driving, you can only be convicted for one of them. The other charge will be dismissed in a number of days. But penalties for a PAC or OWI conviction become more severe for every subsequent conviction on your record. There are also other consequences such as having a criminal record that can impact your future job prospects, family, and more.

Defenses Against A PAC Charge

What most people don’t know is that a PAC charge is not always airtight. Breathalyzer machines do not always function properly and the people carrying out the chemical tests do not always stick to the strict BAC testing standards. Apart from that, it is possible that an individual’s BAC while driving can be below the prohibited BAC level of .08%, but may end up going above the prohibited level after arrest. There are also conditions such as diabetes and acid reflux that can impact the breathalyzer results.

Your OWI attorney will review your case thoroughly to find any errors in the tests use them to argue for a fair ruling on your behalf. In fact, OWI cases can be dismissed if the BAC tests were not carried out properly. If the police officer that pulled you over did so without probable cause, your case may also be dismissed.