If you have been pulled over for DWI in North Carolina, you have likely been given a breathalyzer test that measures the percentage of alcohol in your bloodstream. If your blood alcohol level registers as .08 or above, you will be charged with a DWI automatically. This kind of DWI (one that is confirmed by breathalyzer) is known as a DWI per se. Per Se laws in North Carolina allow drivers to be convicted of DWI solely on the basis of chemical test results, including breathalyzer test results. This means that it is really important to understand how your BAC is calculated, so you can be sure to avoid getting pinned with a DWI per se charge.
Factors That Affect Your Blood Alcohol Level
Factors that affect your blood alcohol level include the amount of alcohol consumed, when it was consumed, what other food and beverages were consumed, and your body size and weight. If you are on blood-thinning medications or supplements, these can also impact your BAC. Because your BAC can be vulnerable to such a large number of factors, it is critical not to take any risks, as well as to really take the time to understand your body and how it metabolizes alcohol. In general, the smaller you are and the less you weigh, the more heavily impacted you will be by alcohol. This is why it is important to understand how alcohol affects you personally instead of comparing yourself or your drinking to others who may metabolize it or be impacted by it differently. For individuals who are smaller than average or have a very low body weight, managing your BAC will require more diligence, and it will be necessary to drink less than others in order to remain below the .08 maximum. With so many moving parts, though, it is also important to recognize that it is almost impossible to accurately predict what your BAC is. The safest option is always to avoid taking chances.
Challenging a DWI Charge in North Carolina
Even if you are currently facing DWI charges in North Carolina which are based on breathalyzer or chemical test results, you can still challenge them. There are actually a number of ways that breathalyzer test results could be invalid, or that the charges could be dismissed. Talking to an experienced criminal defense lawyer about the specifics of your case will give you the best understanding of what options are available to you and what the best way to proceed with your case may be. However, if you were pulled over without probable cause, your constitutional rights were violated, or procedural issues were made in issuing the chemical test or in verifying the results, you may have a basis for your charges to be dismissed.
Schedule a Consultation With a North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing DWI charges in North Carolina, it is critical to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so you can begin working toward the best possible outcome in your case. Contact the attorneys at Coastal South Law today and schedule a consultation to find out how we can help.