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Understanding drunk driving laws in North Carolina

Most people know generally that it is illegal to drive under the influence, but the specifics of state laws related to drunk driving are less well-known. It is a good idea for individuals in North Carolina to understand what constitutes drunk driving in the state. They should also understand the penalties they may face if they are convicted of a DWI.

In North Carolina, it is illegal for anyone who has a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher to drive. Drivers may also be charged if a police officer decides they are noticeably impaired. Additionally, BAC must be under .04 percent while driving a commercial vehicle. Further, North Carolina is a zero tolerance state when it comes to drinking and driving for anyone under the age of 21.

Drunk driving can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged with a misdemeanor, people can be fined $200 to $4,000 and spend 24 hours to two years in jail. Community service and license restrictions are also possible consequences. Those charged with a felony must serve a minimum of one year in jail and go through a substance abuse program. The right to vote is also revoked while a person is in prison.

There are other complexities to drunk driving laws that are worth understanding. For example, people cannot be charged with a DWI in a private driveway or on private land. Additionally, people can face open container charges if an opened bottle of wine or beer is within reach of the driver. Those who have questions or need legal support regarding a drunk driving charge in North Carolina should contact a defense lawyer for support.

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Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly
101 North McDowell Street, Suite 104
Charlotte, NC 28204

Phone: 704-376-9376
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