An article recently highlighted Mothers Against Drunk Driving plea for tougher DWI penalties. The article reference a recent accident, ironically enough, involving a mother driving her children. MADD like to see North Carolina join with other states making DWI a felony. Currently it is a misdemeanor, but don’t think that it isn’t a serious charge.
The first conviction may relieve you of your driving privileges. Those convicted of drunk driving also many experienced challenges and employment. It’s a job needs you to have a valid operating license, your conviction will exclude you from consideration. Then there’s the money. A conviction for drunk driving will cost you for years to come on your car insurance; assuming of course you can get. Then there the possibility of unintentionally hurting someone. It’s just not worth it; don’t drink drive.
Current DWI Penalties
The following are he current peanlties under North Carolina law.
(a) Offense. – A person commits the offense of impaired driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this State:
(1) While under the influence of an impairing substance; or
(2) After having consumed sufficient alcohol that he has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The results of a chemical analysis shall be deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration; or
(3) With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance, as listed in G.S. 90-89, or its metabolites in his blood or urine.
(a1) A person who has submitted to a chemical analysis of a blood sample, pursuant to G.S. 20-139.1(d), may use the result in rebuttal as evidence that the person did not have, at a relevant time after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
(b) Defense Precluded. – The fact that a person charged with violating this section is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol or a drug is not a defense to a charge under this section.
(b1) Defense Allowed. – Nothing in this section shall preclude a person from asserting that a chemical analysis result is inadmissible pursuant to G.S. 20-139.1(b2).
(c) Pleading. – In any prosecution for impaired driving, the pleading is sufficient if it states the time and place of the alleged offense in the usual form and charges that the defendant drove a vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area while subject to an impairing substance.
(d) Sentencing Hearing and Punishment. – Impaired driving as defined in this section is a misdemeanor. Upon conviction of a defendant of impaired driving, the presiding judge shall hold a sentencing hearing and impose punishment in accordance with G.S. 20-179.
(e) Exception. – Notwithstanding the definition of “vehicle” pursuant to G.S. 20-4.01(49), for purposes of this section the word “vehicle” does not include a horse. (1983, c. 435, s. 24; 1989, c. 711, s. 2; 1993, c. 285, s. 1; 2006-253, s. 9.)
If you find the laws above difficult to understand, you’re not alone. Laws are not written in such a way to make it easy for those without a law degree to understand. If you’ve been charged with DWI, you deserve the best defense possible. Call today for free consultation.