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DWI Task Force Pushes for More Penalties in North Carolina

State officials continue to push for harsher DWI penalties, and this is something you should be aware of if you drive in the Tar Heel State. Various new initiatives and regulations have been proposed by a task force that recently met in Waynesville. These changes involve portable breath tests, license revocations, drug tests, and less lenient sentencing guidelines. All of this is occurring while DWI offenses continue throughout the state. How will these new regulations affect you? What should you do after being accused of a DWI in North Carolina

DWI Task Force Suggests Five New Laws in North Carolina

The WNC Regional DWI Task Force has proposed five new laws to help combat DWIs across North Carolina. The first new law would increase the use of portable breath tests, which police officers often lack when responding to suspected DWIs. According to some reports, breath tests can be faster than blood tests in determining alcohol intoxication levels – but they are not always reliable. 

A second new law would create mandatory license revocations for anyone accused of DWI in North Carolina. Note that you would not need to be convicted in order to have your license suspended under this new system. The only requirement would be to show probable cause for your arrest. This mandatory license revocation would apply to all substances. 

In an effort to address the lack of effective drug testing methods, the task force has also suggested oral fluid tests. One representative called the lack of reliable drug testing “ridiculous,” stressing that police officers should have access to reliable technology like oral fluid tests. However, there are some drugs that are almost always undetectable by oral fluid tests. Drug testing has become a more important issue in North Carolina due to a new, controversial marijuana dispensary on tribal land. 

Finally, officials want to revisit a 0.09 BAC reading as a mitigating factor for DWI sentencing. Currently, those who record just one decimal point above the legal limit enjoy more lenient penalties – something that the task force wants to end. The task force even wants to push the 0.08 BAC level all the way down to just 0.05. 

Will Any of These New Laws Pass?

Suggesting new laws is not the same as passing new laws. The task force may have convinced many lawmakers, but these new regulations are still far from being signed and approved. Lawmakers must consider how residents might feel about some of these changes. Many North Carolina residents would probably react badly to a maximum BAC level of just 0.05, for example. That being said, intoxicating driving is a major issue in North Carolina – and some voters are demanding action. 

Within a couple of weeks in May, drunk drivers in North Carolina crashed into fire stations, numerous pedestrians, and at least one person driving a moped. 

Find a Qualified DWI Defense Lawyer in North Carolina

Coastal South Law can help drivers accused of DWIs in North Carolina. While new regulations may pose additional challenges on the road to justice, the same basic defense strategies will continue to be effective. If you’d like to discuss the most appropriate defense strategy based on your unique situation, book a consultation with us today. We will guide you toward positive outcomes. 

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