Driving While Intoxicated in North Carolina

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What am I obligated to do if I’ve been pulled for Drinking and Driving?”


In the United States, alcohol is the primary cause for most deaths that occur while driving. Alcohol intoxication limits a driver’s ability to perform safely for several reasons. For example, alcohol intoxication blurs one’s vision and harms one’s ability to react. Since a person’s reaction time increases due to alcohol intoxication, intoxicated drivers do not have the proper ability to quickly think when confronted with an emergency. Even if a driver uses his or her car after a single drink and is under the .08% limit of Blood-Alcohol Concentration (BAC), police may still arrest that driver if he or she seems impaired while driving.


chewing-gum-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-DWI-Lawyer-300x225What is the Illegal Blood-Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limit in North Carolina?


If a person’s BAC is at or above .08%, then it is illegal for that individual to drive. BAC tests performed by the police obtain the amount of alcohol in a person’s system by checking a person’s urine, blood, or breath. Even if one’s BAC falls below .08% when tested, that individual may still face a DWI charge if his or her driving appears impaired. So, even if a person’s BAC falls below the legal limit, he or she can still face prosecution in a criminal court for driving under the influence.


What can Affect A Person’s BAC?


Several things can affect a person’s BAC level. First, how much alcohol an individual drinks and exactly what he or she consumes influence one’s BAC. A person who drinks just 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, for instance, will have consumed the same amount of alcohol as a different person consuming 12 ounces of beer.

Next, an individual’s size and body weight also factor into his or her BAC level. A larger, heavier person can more easily dilute his or her alcohol content because that person possesses a greater amount of body fluids than a smaller individual.

Also, the food an individual digested as well as his or her personal tolerance to alcohol can alter a BAC reading. If an individual has taken other drugs, those drugs could further influence a person’s BAC level.


How can a Person Lower BAC Before Driving?


Contrary to widespread belief, there is no proven way to immediately lower one’s BAC prior to driving. The only way a person can sober up before driving is to allow for time to pass. While many people think that showers, coffee, and other methods can help lower their BAC before driving, those assumptions are all myths.


Driving while intoxicated is an issue dealt with in the criminal courts. Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you can still wind up facing criminal prosecution if your driving seems impaired. If you have a criminal court date for driving while intoxicated in North Carolina and need a DWI lawyer, contact the legal offices of Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We will be able to guide you through the process while informing you about your rights. If you find yourself facing criminal charges and need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.








The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.






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