The Definition of Driving While Impaired in North Carolina

A person may drink a few beers and feel they are perfectly capable of driving, only to find when they are pulled over that the law doesn’t agree. Driving while impaired (DWI) is a serious charge with severe consequences, and every person who gets behind the wheel in the state needs to recognize this. Driving while impaired can lead to the loss of a person’s driver’s license, their freedom and their money, as they must spend it to defend against the charges. This doesn’t even take into account the loss of life that may occur as a result of a person driving while in this state.

Under North Carolina law, a person is considered to be driving while impaired if their blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or higher, but this only applies to adults 21 years of age or older. A person who is younger than 21 may be charged with this crime regardless of the amount of alcohol in their system. A person with a prior DWI conviction has a lower threshold also, as they may be convicted of driving while impaired when their blood alcohol concentration is .04 percent or higher. Furthermore, any commercial driver or person who holds a CDL license can be charged with driving while impaired if their blood alcohol concentration is .04 percent or higher, thus a person can’t assume they are safe simply by the number of drinks they have consumed.

The law goes much further and allows individuals to be charged with DWI if certain other conditions are met. If a driver has consumed alcohol or is doing so while driving and has an open container in the car, he or she can be charged with this crime. The same is true if there is an open or closed container in a commercial vehicle’s passenger area or if a person helps someone under the age of 21 obtain alcohol in any way.

Anyone wanting more information on DUI charges in North Carolina should head over to Here a person will find information on this type of criminal charge and what consequences they may be facing. Various defenses may be used to counteract these charges, and a lawyer will help determine which is appropriate given the facts of the case. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance, as time is of the essence following a charge of this type.