Across the United States, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more is illegal.
But not all states agree if that .08 level has to be recorded at the time a person is driving. Arkansas, for example, states that a BAC of .08 or more must be present at the time of driving. The District of Columbia dictates that a BAC of .08 or more must be determined at the time of testing. Some states use a process of determining BAC levels within a specified time after driving. So what about North Carolina?
How North Carolina Determines BAC for DWI Charges
Just like every other state, North Carolina uses a BAC of .08 to charge drivers with DWI. But the state doesn’t have to prove a driver’s alcohol concentration at the time of driving nor sets a specific time limit in which a chemical test must take place. Instead, the state determines that a driver can be charged with DWI after drinking sufficient alcohol that results in a BAC of .08 or more at any relevant time after driving.(G.S. 20-138.1(a)(2).
A relevant time after driving is defined as “…any time after the driving in which the driver still has in his body alcohol consumed before or during the driving.” (G.S. 20-40.1(33a). Even the best DWI lawyers struggle with these vague criteria for what constitutes sufficient evidence to charge a driver with DWI. To the average driver, this North Carolina law seems to have more than its share of “gray area.”
Most of us are familiar with the factors that can affect alcohol absorption, from having an empty stomach to gender. This gray area and the variety of factors that determine absorption make determining an exact BAC while driving very difficult.
With so much room for interpretation, the laws regarding DWI in North Carolina create some pretty tough cases for DWI attorneys. The Jason Reece Law Firm in Charlotte knows all about these laws and how to use them to defend clients faced with DUI successfully. Don’t even think of wasting your time, and your money, trying to figure out what all those laws really mean. Just give us a call, and we’ll make sure you get the very best outcome for your case.