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What you need to know about DWI in North Carolina

North Carolina changed its drunk driving laws in 1983, passing the Safe Roads Act that unified all of our drunk driving laws and set new standards. One of the changes with this new law is that drunk driving charges are referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI). There are four different blood alcohol concentration limits in place, depending on the individual accused of drunk driving.

For all people in the state of North Carolina, the BAC limit is 0.08. However, there are also specific circumstances where the BAC limit is different. For example, commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04 placed on them. Drivers under 21 can't have any alcohol in their system. And if you have a prior DWI, then your BAC limit is 0.04.

Depending on the "level" of your DWI offense (which ranks from lowest, Level 5, to highest, Level 1) the penalties you face will change. A judge will determine your level depending on the circumstances of the case. Your blood alcohol concentration is just one factor that plays a role in this determination.

In any case though, you will face serious consequences for a DWI. Anyone accused of this charge needs to consider their legal situation and talk with an attorney. With so much on the line -- including your liberty and freedoms, not to mention the extensive weight that will be placed on you financially -- it is imperative to fight for your rights and defend your case.

Source: DMV, "DUI & DWI in North Carolina," Accessed April 14, 2017

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