Many driving while impaired (DWI) charges in North Carolina are the result of obviously bad driving. Someone swerving all over the road or driving erratically will attract the attention of police officers.
The field sobriety test and chemical breath test during a traffic stop are often just technical requirements because the police officer already saw someone driving in a clearly impaired manner. However, sometimes, the police end up performing a chemical test when the traffic stop was not initiated over suspected impairment.
If you fail the breath test, can you get arrested for DWI when your driving was fine?
Being over the legal limit is a crime
Everyone has a different metabolism, which means that alcohol affects every driver a little bit differently. To make the law as fair as possible and to make it easy for drivers to comply with it, the state established a per se limit on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of drivers. Regardless of how well you tolerate alcohol and how little it affects your driving skill, having more alcohol than the legal limit in your bloodstream is justification for an arrest all on its own.
The per se limit for the average driver in North Carolina is 0.08%. For underage drivers, any detectable amount of alcohol in their bloodstream could lead to a DWI arrest. For those operating a commercial vehicle, a BAC of 0.04% could lead to an arrest without any signs of impairment.
Understanding the North Carolina DWI laws will make it easier for you to avoid an arrest or fight back against criminal charges.