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Driving while intoxicated is against the law in all 50 states. In North Carolina, if your blood alcohol content is .08% or higher, your judgment is considered impaired, and you may lose your license, receive a fine or get jail time if arrested. At The Law Office of L. Bryan Smith, P.C. we have experience representing clients accused of driving under the influence.

According to FindLaw, police typically use one of three methods for determining whether a driver is operating the vehicle under the influence.

  • If you are driving too slow or too fast, fail to stop or yield at the appropriate locations or swerve for no apparent reason, these erratic behaviors indicate you may be driving drunk. Officers may stop you for reasonable suspicion.
  • An officer may ask that you step out of the car for a field sobriety test if he or she believes you may be driving under the influence. They may conduct a speech test, have you walk in a straight line or stand on one leg. During these activities, they watch your eyes. If they are blurred, or your pupils are dilated, the officer may follow up with a chemical test. 
  • A breath, blood or urine sample is needed for the test, and a mathematical formula determines the blood alcohol level. Refusing to take the test invokes the implied consent law, which may result in license suspension, regardless of whether you are found innocent.

Depending on the details of your case, there are several options for defense, from claiming that the initial stop lacked probable cause to challenging the mathematical formula used in the test. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.