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What Happens if You Text and Drive While Committing a DWI in North Carolina?

Texting and driving are two separate offenses in North Carolina. Commit both of these offenses simultaneously, and you may encounter serious criminal consequences. This is especially true if your distraction and intoxication led to an accident. The most severe penalties are reserved for those who cause serious injuries or deaths. If you have been accused of texting and driving while drunk in North Carolina, consider getting in touch with an experienced DWI lawyer at Coastal South Law. 

Penalties for Texting While Drunk Driving in North Carolina

In March of 2024, a man in North Carolina faced criminal consequences for texting and driving while drunk. He had crashed into the back of another vehicle, causing that vehicle to jolt forward into the back of a school bus. As a result of this crash, he faced numerous charges:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

  • Reckless Driving

  • Speeding

  • Texting While Driving

These charges give you a sense of the penalties a driver might face if they are caught texting and driving while intoxicated. Note that these penalties were particularly severe because he caused a cash. That said, texting while driving is not a “criminal” offense in North Carolina – but rather a “civil” infraction. In other words, no jail time is possible – and the maximum fine is about  $100. 

On the other hand, even a first-offense DWI in North Carolina may result in jail time. It is also possible to face jail time for speeding in North Carolina if you go 15 mph faster than the speed limit. Finally, reckless driving is also a misdemeanor in North Carolina, and you could face jail time for this offense as well. When you put all of these penalties together, it is possible to face months in jail for texting and driving while drunk. 

Texting and Driving Might Actually Be More Dangerous Than Drinking and Driving

While referencing various statistics, some say that texting and driving should carry at least the same penalties as drinking and driving. Others say that texting while driving is even more dangerous than driving while intoxicated, and therefore, the penalties should actually be higher

Although this sentiment might sound ridiculous, the statistics seem to back it up. Many studies have determined that texting and driving is more dangerous than driving with a BAC of 0.08. Some statistics indicate that it is six times more hazardous. The logic is that if you text and drive, you’re not even looking at the road. If you drink and drive, however, you are at least somewhat aware of what is happening around you. 

When these two factors are combined, driving safely becomes virtually impossible. 

Find an Experienced DWI Lawyer in North Carolina

If you have been searching for an experienced DWI lawyer in North Carolina, look no further than Coastal South Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants fight DWIs and other related charges. While these charges can be serious, you are not alone in the legal battle ahead. Reach out today to get started with a defense strategy. 

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