“Oh man, I have really messed up this time!” you realize as you are being pulled over. Your head is spinning and you are kicking yourself in the butt as you realize you shouldn’t have even thought about getting behind the wheel after those couple of drinks.
Let’s be realistic. DWI in today’s society is a very, very serious offense. Every single one of us has heard about or knows of someone who has had a tragedy involving a close friend or relative injured or even killed by a drunk driver. The courts are very serious about driving while impaired as they should be and the laws are very strict.
That said, let’s point out a couple of pieces of information. First driving while impaired is NOT driving drunk. There really is no such crime as driving drunk. Driving while impaired (DWI) is driving your motor vehicle on a public street or highway (which includes many parking lots) while your mental OR physical faculties are appreciably impaired. We commonly ask our clients, “did you feel it?” If you did, then you were likely impaired. In North Carolina, if you “blew” an .08 or over, you are also considered impaired whether you “felt it” or not. Understand – you can be impaired and not drunk.
There are a number of legal defenses to the charge. These are pretty complicated and are fact driven. It depends on what happened in your case. Many of these defenses are not apparent to folks with no legal background. For that reason, if you are charged with DWI, you should consult an attorney whether it is us or another firm.
What if you are in fact guilty? You would want to minimize your punishment. By your securing a substance abuse assessment or by us reviewing your driving history or for some other number of reasons, in many cases, your punishment can be lessened. There is a flip side to this; there are reasons for which your punishment can be increased.
There is also the possibility of a limited driving privilege. These can be available pretrial for the last twenty (20) days of the initial thirty (30) day revocation or after your case is over. They are available by statute and you must qualify. You may also be disqualified. As attorney can advise you about this.
DWI is a very specific statute and has many different aspects. This one page of the web site is insufficient to properly advise you and you should not rely on anything in this page as legal advice. This is simply informative. You should consult with an attorney and we will be glad to meet with you for a free consultation about your matter.