You may, like many others, assume that the only way to get a DUI/DWI in North Carolina is to have a few too many alcoholic beverages and climb behind the wheel. If that is the case, your assumption would be wrong. North Carolina has an "impaired driving" statute that encompasses much more than just being under the influence of alcohol.
When out with your friends, it can seem easy to let go of responsibilities and just relax for a while. During your outings or gatherings at someone's home, you and your friends may consume alcoholic beverages as part of your evening. You generally know when to call it quits before you start feeling intoxicated, especially when you know you need to drive home later.
Driving is a privilege. Many travel in motor vehicles to get to and from work, school, stores and other destinations. However, there are some individuals that drive for their job. Truck drivers are known for this, and frequently travel long distances to transport goods from one state to another. Thus, when a truck driver is accused of driving under the influence, he or she could have serious penalties that could impact his or her personal and professional life.
When police officers in North Carolina stop a driver for a traffic violation or respond to a car accident, the officer may have a motorist step outside of their vehicle. In matters where drunk driving is suspected, a field sobriety test might be conducted. In order to rule out that a driver is not under the influence of alcohol, certain tests are conducted. In order to establish a driver's blood alcohol content level, a breath test is often used.
Let's face it. During the winter holidays we are more compelled to go to gatherings and celebrations where alcohol is served. And in order to get to and from these events, individuals in North Carolina and elsewhere will driver their vehicles. While this is fine for those consuming no alcohol or just a small quantity, it is extremely dangerous for those driving over the legal limit. This not only places their life and the lives of others at risk, but it also increases a driver's chance of getting pulled over for drunk driving.
Being pulled over by the police is a very stressful situation to be in. Many thoughts and concerns run through a driver's mind, and one of them is likely whether an officer will think he or she is under the influence of alcohol. We have all seen in on television and in the movies. Suspecting officers will ask the driver to exit the vehicle and begin the field sobriety test.
When we get behind the wheel of the car, we are under the impression that we are able to operate it safely. However, if law enforcement believes that we are not driving safely or violating a traffic law, this could result in a traffic stop. If during the stop officers suspect that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, the field sobriety test might commence. The same is true following a car accident. If there is a suspicion of intoxication, police officers will attempt to collect evidence to prove you are over the legal limit. Either of these scenarios could result in a drunk driving charge.
Even famous people can run into trouble with the law. Take the case of music star, Aaron Carter. The singer was recently arrested for DUI refusal and is facing other criminal charges, including possession of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia.
It's a sight and sound no motorist in North Carolina wants to experience -- the flashing red and blue lights in their rear-view mirror and the blare of police sirens in their ear. An officer who pulls a motorist over on suspicion of drunk driving may ask the motorist to perform a breath test. This can be a difficult situation. A person may want to refuse to submit to such a test; for example, if they are certain they are not drunk or if they don't want to make a bad situation worse. However, there are legal consequences for refusing to submit to a breath test.
Memorial Day is behind us and the Fourth of July looms, meaning that there may be an uptick in the number of people North Carolina police accuse of drunk driving. After all, summer is a festive season, with many get-togethers and special events going on at the beach or on the water where alcohol is served. While most people in North Carolina handle their liquor responsibly, it is still important to note that police in the state will be cracking down on those they believe are drunk driving or drunk boating.