What to Do If You’re Charged With a DWI in NC
It’s never a wise idea to drink and drive.
Not only does it put your life in danger, but it also risks the lives of other people, too.
What’s more, driving under the influence can lead to serious legal consequences.
In North Carolina, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is referred to as a DWI.
For this reason, we are looking at what you can do if you’re charged with a DWI in NC.
How Do You Get a DWI in NC?
You will be charged with a DWI in North Carolina if you drive a vehicle under the influence of:
- An impairing substance
- An alcohol concentration of 0.08
- Any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance in blood or urine
Talk to the Officer
If an officer pulls you over, ask why he or she has chosen to stop you.
The officer should give you a reason for pulling you over.
If the officer doesn’t have a reason, politely refuse to answer any other questions until he or she has a reason.
By stopping you with no just cause, the officer is in violation of your Constitutional Rights.
An officer cannot stop you on his/her intuition or because you appear suspicious.
Shape the Interrogation
If the officer has a reason for pulling you over, you can try to shape the interrogation.
For instance, you could say something like “I dropped my keys, which is why I swerved. I apologize” or “Sorry, I thought I was driving 35”.
A speeding interrogation doesn’t have to lead into a DWI investigation.
Be Compliant but Not Too Compliant
An officer may request to see your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.
You are legally obliged to provide the information, but nothing more.
You should not agree for an officer to search either you or your vehicle.
Refusing a Breathalyzer Test
If an officer pulls you over on suspicion of a DWI, they will most likely ask you to take a breathalyzer test.
The device will measure the alcohol in your blood if there is any. If you have drunken too much alcohol, the results will serve as evidence in your DWI case.
Many people believe they should refuse a breathalyzer test to prevent their conviction.
Yet, you must think carefully about doing so. While it will limit the evidence stacked up against you, it can have serious consequences…
What Happens if You Refuse a Test?
North Carolina has an implied consent law. This means you have a legal obligation to undertake:
- Field sobriety tests
- Chemical tests
There will more than likely be repercussions for a failure to comply with the officer’s tests.
For example, you could receive a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
If you do have your license suspended, you could get it back with limited privileges.
It’s also important to note you could also face a charge of refusal, alongside the DWI charge.
Request a Call to an Attorney
If you are charged with a DWI in NC, request a call to an attorney, if the officer does not inform you of your rights.
An attorney might be an unwanted expense, but you can trust a DWI conviction will cost you so much more.
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