As the Holiday season approaches, many out there will be visiting family and friends, with alcohol likely present. “Last month on our blog we broke down DWI laws in the state of North Carolina, along with the various penalties one can expect by violating them,” said Thomas Bumgardner, attorney with The Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner, PLLC. “However, what we left out were some of the various myths and misconceptions about getting charged with a DWI and we’d like to cover that in this post.”
Myth #1: There Are Easy Ways to Sober Up Quickly
There are many myths out there about miracle cures for intoxication. Examples of these include eating a spoonful of peanut-butter, drinking coffee, or even getting some quick jumping jacks in. The truth…don’t do any of those! There is no magic wand for sobriety. According to the American Addiction Centers, an average person’s blood alcohol level will rise to 0.015 from a single ounce of alcohol. So, essentially about every hour, that much alcohol will pass out of the person’s body. With a blood alcohol level of 0.08, the legal limit for driving, it would take 5.5 hours for all of it to leave the system.
Myth #2: You Can Refuse the Breathalyzer Test
The second DWI myth comes right after you have already been pulled over. Many unfortunately believe that they can dodge charges by just saying no! While, technically, this is something you can legally do, it is not a get out of jail free card. According to the North Carolina DMV, if you refuse a chemical test you will have your driver’s license revoked for a minimum of 30 days while you are given the option of a hearing. If you chose to accept a hearing you will be required to schedule it with the Division of Motor Vehicles. If you are found guilty you will your have your license suspended for 1 year and that’s only if it is your first offense. After two offenses, refusing to take a test could get your license suspended for four years while after three can lead to permanent suspension.
Myth #3: My lawyer Will be Able to Get a Reduction in the DWI Charge to a Lesser Offense!
Arguably the biggest misconception about DWI laws in the state of North Carolina is that, with the help of a lawyer, you can easily get your DWI charge dropped to a lesser offense. While this practice is common in some other states, there’s a statute here in North Carolina, N.C.G.S. 20-179.4, that makes the practice of quietly reducing a DWI to a lesser charge difficult. For the most part, these reductions do not happen except in very rare cases.
The holidays are a great time to socialize with friends and family but it’s important to make sure you are responsible. “The penalties for driving under the influence are steep in the state of North Carolina and they can have a huge impact on your life,” states Bumgardner. “You shouldn’t take a DUI case lightly.” The best option is to never drink and drive! If you do find yourself in a situation where you’ve had a little too much to drink, simply order an Uber, taxi or have a friend drop you home.
For information on the North Carolina DWI laws, visit the North Carolina DMV website here.
The Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner, PLLC, can help you understand the laws of DWI in North Carolina. Please call us if we can help you at 704-887-4981. We’re experienced and we’re here to listen to your situation and to offer our professional guidance.
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