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What you need to know about drunk driving in North Carolina

| Oct 8, 2020 | Dwi |

Data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that an estimated 3,848 individuals died in crashes with alcohol-impaired motorists in North Carolina between 2009 and 2018. Drunk driving isn’t just a severe problem here in North Carolina, though; it’s a national issue. Intoxicated motorists kill as many as 10,000 people each year in the United States. The crime of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense. If you damage property, injure or kill someone during a crash, then you may face more severe penalties upon conviction.

The federal agency’s data shows that there’s been a significant decline in drunk driving crashes since the 1980s here in the U.S. The CDC also notes that there are millions of instances in which intoxicated motorists get behind the wheel and drive.

Federal data pulled from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2018 captured how 1.3% of North Carolina motorists admitted to driving after consuming too much alcohol during the previous 30 days. An estimated 1.7% of U.S. residents admitted to doing the same.

North Carolina law prohibits motorists from driving if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more. The index for underage or commercial drivers may be lower depending on the jurisdiction.

Anyone convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in this state may face severe penalties, including a suspended license, fines and jail time. First-time offenders with high BACs, those with prior DWI convictions and impaired drivers who damage property or injure others may face enhanced penalties if convicted.

It’s not uncommon for local and state law enforcement agencies to set up publicized sobriety checkpoints to try and catch suspected drunk motorists. A DUI attorney will want to know more details about your Wilmington stop’s circumstances to most strategically plan your defense to the charges you face.